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


I believe this complete new sustainable economic system as we’re envisioning it, with the whole lot electrified, merely can’t work until you’ve gotten a closed loop for the uncooked supplies. There aren’t sufficient new uncooked supplies to maintain constructing and throwing them away; it might essentially be unimaginable. 

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

It’s extra difficult than I believe 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 lots of room for innovation, and this stuff haven’t been effectively optimized, and even finished in any respect in some circumstances. So that’s actually the enjoyable stuff as an engineer, the place you get to invent and innovate issues that haven’t been finished two, three, 4 instances already.  

But one thing that isn’t intuitive is simply what a excessive degree 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, could be reused time and again and once more. Literally a whole lot, maybe 1000’s of instances.

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

JB Straubel

There should not going to be lots of electrical autos coming off the roads for a long time. How are you eager 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 of our key aims and targets is to take a look at the very long run and to ensure we’re architecting essentially the most environment friendly techniques for the long run, the place recycled materials content material is almost all of provide. 

But within the meantime, we’re taking a realistic view. We should mix in a specific amount of virgin materials—no matter we are able to get in essentially the most environmentally pleasant method—to reinforce the ramp-up whereas we have to transition away from fossil fuels. 

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