Can electric car batteries be recycled?

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With many people making the move towards more economical cars and both fully electric and hybrid cars becoming more popular on the market, it poses the question as to whether you can recycle them in the same way as a petrol or diesel fuelled car.

The answer is yes, they can be recycled in the same way. All of the different elements can be taken apart, sorted and either recycled or safely disposed of much like any other car.

What about the batteries?

The batteries in electric and hybrid cars are the one area that is a bit grey when it comes to recycling.

Regular car batteries are lead-acid batteries, whereas the newer electric and hybrid cars now use lithium-ion batteries which are similar to those used in laptops and mobile phones. These batteries weight a lot less and have the ability to last longer than a lead-acid battery.

The good news is that in both cases, the batteries can be recycled.

With lead-acid batteries, 96 percent of the materials in the battery is recovered, alternatively, they can be recharged and reused before recycling if they are in good condition. They can also be recharged and reused before being recycled.

Despite there being less recycling centres that can dispose of lithium-ion car batteries and some other components of these cars, it is still possible to do so. When lithium-ion batteries reach a recycling centre, there are two ways to recycle them. If they are completely without a charge, they are simply shredded so that the metals in them can be easily sorted. If the batteries could still possibly have a charge they are often frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed in to bits, this stops the batteries from reacting and allows for safe disposal.