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Electric Cars: The Battery Challenge

Publish Date: 19-08-2021

Publish Frequency:

Source: Springer Nature

Author(s): Davide Castelvecchi

Type: Article

Synopsis: The age of the electric car is upon us. Earlier this year, the US automobile giant General Motors announced that it aims to stop selling petrol-powered and diesel models by 2035. Audi, based in Germany, plans to stop producing such vehicles by 2033. Many other automotive multinationals have issued similar road maps. Highlights: -In the coming decades, hundreds of millions of vehicles will hit the roads, carrying massive batteries inside them. And each of those batteries will contain tons of kilograms of materials that have yet to be mined. -Because it is still less expensive, in most instances, to mine metals than to recycle them, a key goal is to develop processes to recover valuable metals cheaply enough to compete with freshly mined ones. -Electric cars which are still more expensive than conventional ones - should reach price parity by the mid-2020s. -Other labs around the world are working on cobalt-free batteries: in particular, the pioneering EV maker Tesla. -Unlike conventional cathode materials, disordered rock salts do not require cobalt or nickel to remain stable during the process. In particular, they can be made with manganese, which is cheap and plentiful,... -The vas majority of lithium-ion batteries are produced in China, Japan and South Korea... -Some North American start up firms say they can already recover the majority of a batterie's metals, including lithium, at costs that are competitive with those of mining them... -"Over 98% of lead-acid batteries are recovered and recycled"... -...the battery pack (20yrs lifecycle) will outlive the vehicle it was built into.

Public Link: https://media.nature.com/original/magazine-assets/d41586-021-02222-1/d41586-021-02222-1.pdf

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