ageing electric batteries to old engines to rear-view mirrors,
the auto industry is revving up its recycling efforts as it
faces pressure to reduce its colossal carbon footprint.
world's automakers are investing in facilities to salvage
old parts but the industry is also looking to recycle the millions of
electric batteries used for the cars of the future. While electric
cars are cleaner than their fossil fuel forebears, the raw materials needed for
their batteries are extracted from mines in Africa that are often
accused of environmental damage and using child labour.
The auto industry
produces more greenhouse gas
emissions than the entire European Union, with 20% of it coming from
manufacturing, according to the World Economic Forum. Recycling batteries
could have a considerable impact. It could reduce demand for lithium by 25%,
cobalt%, and nickel and copper by 55% in 2040, the Institute for Sustainable
Futures said in a report in April.
with battery maker CATL recently announced the construction of a $5 billion,
recycling plant in Hubei province. Swedish startup Northvolt -- a
Volkswagen and BMW partner -- plans to launch a factory capable
of recycling 25,000 tonnes of batteries per year next year.
The company has pledged that 50% of its battery components would be made from
recycled materials by 2030. The project, dubbed Revolt, is part of the
company's promise to be the greenest battery maker in Europe.
nuclear giant Orano is launching a project to apply techniques used for
extracting uranium to recycle batteries.
France, a joint venture of automaker Renault and utilities group Suez
dismantles 5,000 cars per year for their parts. The company, Indra, has
taken its industrial process to Belgium, Portugal and Switzerland. Workers
empty fuel tanks and strips a car of its engine, tires, dashboard,
rear-view mirrors, and other parts within two hours.
Jaguar Land Rover has a project to recycle aluminium from
scrapped vehicles, which the company says could cut CO2 emissions from
production by 26%.