Many of these vehicles hold warranties ranging between 5 year/60,000 miles and 8 years/100,000 miles, meaning these cars have the potential to stay on the roads for over a decade. However, when they do hit the end of their useful, drivable lives, what is the next journey the car will travel along?
With gas vehicles, the old and totaled, end of life cars are stripped down of everything valuable including its battery and metals because of high demands for recycled parts and materials as well as a rising value of scrap metal. Electric vehicles could be a slightly different story.
As of now with the high EV price tag and volatility of lithium batteries, it is uncertain the returns on scrapping an electric vehicle. However that may change when the EV price drops to a more comparable amount to gas cars and they become more mainstream. For recyclers there is an added investment (and education) needed in order to be able to scrap an electric vehicle safely and properly. As of now with electric cars still holding a small market share and even fewer reaching retirement age thus far it isn’t economically viable for all recyclers to take on EV’s.
What is useful about the lithium battery used in EV’s is when it is deemed unsafe and too worn out for driving, it still has around 70-80% of its charge left, meaning it has a long time before it is considered useless.These batteries are perfect for powering wind/solar energy, grids, and at home use.