Seems since the start of the auto industry there has always been a push in a certain direction and much of that has been driven by the oil industry with ICE autos. With the start of the electrical vehicle the media narrative has been the world will be awash in dead batteries clogging up landfills and adding an expense to consumers in having to replace a $10,000 or more battery pack.
Lately an interesting counter point was made in a story by Forbes magazine in an interview with Nissan executive Nic Thomas who has gone on record that for the last 12 years that Nissan has been selling their electric Leaf auto that almost all of the lithium-ion batteries they have produced are still working just fine in their cars. In fact, Nissan is now expecting the battery packs to outlast the life expectancy of the Nissan Leaf auto. Nissan expects their Leaf to easily last 20 years.
Since the Leaf went on sale in 2010, the worry by opponents to EVs was that the world would have to deal with millions upon millions of spent EV battery packs. As such many Legacy Auto Companies have set up battery recycling centers and yet due to the sophisticated battery management systems that have been guarding the long-term health of these batteries very little has found its way back for recycling.
In fact, for EVs from Hyundai, the owner gets a lifetime warranty where Kia has given their EV battery packs a 10-year warranty. GM has chosen to give all their EVs an 8-year 100,000-mile warranty on their Ultium battery system. Ford has also gone with an 8-year, 100,000-mile battery pack warranty.
Yet the end result is that the battery packs in the Hybrid and BEVs are lasting far longer than ever expected. Nissan has gone on record that after 20 years; they expect the average Leaf battery pack to have 60 to 70% capacity still making it usable for other products such as a home energy storage system. The average battery life is expected to outlast the average auto life.
As Nissan has pointed out, battery degradation in EVs is a major concern among both buyers and manufacturers. Nissan assures that the problem is not an issue especially as folks move to newer EVs such as the Nissan Ariya.
Nissan says that down the road, it will probably be more sustainable to recycle the auto and reuse the battery pack. To date, Nissan has stated they have only recovered a small quantity of the Leaf's batteries, the majority of them from accidents and a smaller number for those that have not complied with the conditions of the guarantee. Where at all possible, the batteries are sent to stationary storage systems for extended life use such as the Nissan Factory in Sunderland, England, which uses the batteries to store energy from solar panels and wind turbines to power the factory.
The International Energy Angecy (IEA) says they estimate current global recycling capacity at around 180,000 metric tons per year. The IEA has stated that by 2040, they estimate 1,300 GWh of spent batteries that will need to be recycled. One area that is of interest is the denser and longer range of solid-state batteries.
The owner of the Nissan LEAF Battery Replacement site and owner of Nissan Leafs has gone through 3 battery replacements and felt a site was needed to help all EV owners know where to go for battery repairs and replacement so they could avoid paying the extreme arke