That is the place Tesla’s former CTO thinks battery recycling is headed


I feel this complete new sustainable economic system as we’re envisioning it, with every little thing electrified, merely can’t work until you may have a closed loop for the uncooked supplies. There aren’t sufficient new uncooked supplies to maintain constructing and throwing them away; it will essentially be inconceivable. 

Battery recycling is an intuitive resolution to these two points, however inform me extra in regards to the technical problem of pulling it off, and the way it will work.

It’s extra difficult than I feel many individuals admire. There’s only a complete ton of chemistry, chemical engineering, and manufacturing engineering that has to occur to make and refine the entire parts that go right into a battery. It’s not only a sorting or rubbish administration downside. 

There’s a number of room for innovation, and these items haven’t been nicely optimized, and even executed in any respect in some circumstances. In order that’s actually the enjoyable stuff as an engineer, the place you get to invent and innovate issues that haven’t been executed two, three, 4 instances already.  

However one thing that isn’t intuitive is simply what a excessive stage of reusability the metals inside a battery have. All of these supplies we put right into a battery and into an EV don’t go anyplace. They’re all nonetheless there. They don’t get degraded, they don’t get compromised—99% of these metals, or maybe extra, will be reused many times and once more. Actually tons of, maybe hundreds of instances.

I don’t imagine we’re appropriately internalizing how unhealthy local weather change goes to be.

JB Straubel

There should not going to be a number of electrical autos coming off the roads for a very long time. How are you fascinated about navigating that and going through shortages in your provide of used batteries? 

I actually see our place as a sustainable battery supplies firm. One among our key aims and objectives is to take a look at the very long run and to ensure we’re architecting probably the most environment friendly programs for the long run, the place recycled materials content material is almost all of provide. 

However within the meantime, we’re taking a practical view. We have now to mix in a certain quantity of virgin materials—no matter we are able to get in probably the most environmentally pleasant method—to enhance the ramp-up whereas we have to transition away from fossil fuels. 

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