Sustainable Management of Retired Electric Vehicle Batteries

Sustainable Management of Retired Electric Vehicle Batteries

Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) have emerged as a critical enabling technology for battery electric vehicles (EVs). The massive growth in deployment of lithium batteries, fueled in part by EV policy incentives, will inevitably create a large flow of retired or used LIBs. At the same time, the potential environmental impacts of retired batteries and the appropriate strategies for managing them is unknown. In response, California’s AB-2832 mandates the development of an advisory group by CalEPA to advise the legislature on vehicle LIB recycling. As the state continues to develop light and heavy duty EV policies, there is increasing attention being paid to managing the end of life for EV electronic wastes.

The research will support sustainable management of battery wastes and inform current and future EV policies. The research will use system dynamics models coupled with technology models and life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) to predict the future flow and condition of end-of-life (EOL) LIBs and quantify the environmental impacts and economics of EOL processes. The research will develop and refine strategies for sustainable life cycle management of LIBs, with a strategic focus on two case studies focused on deployments of electric trucks and buses.

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