The battery, the most polluting element of the electric car? Missed!, Electric car: To limit pollution, here is how the batteries are recycled

Electric car: To limit pollution, here is how the batteries are recycled

Studies on the “carbon” weight of batteries have been raining for a few years, but those on steel are much rarer. However, it is the most polluting element of a car. Renault’s ACV (life cycle analysis) study already compared the Zoe and Clio V in 2021 in 2021, two vehicles with a nearby template, in a similar segment.

The battery, the most polluting element of the electric car ? Missed !

  • 1/5The battery is not the most polluting element to the production of an electric car
  • 2/5The production of a battery remains polluting, but less than steel
  • 3/5Batteries recycling makes it possible to limit polluting discharges to the life cycle
  • 4/5The higher the car, the greater its impact on the environment. Electric, or not
  • 5/5Should we go to lighter electric vehicles, as China does?

The battery, the most polluting element of the electric car ? Missed !

The battery is often cited as the most polluting element to produce on an electric car. But for many models, it is. fake.

Since the boom in the electric car, studies have multiplied around their impact on the environment, and in particular the production of the vehicle. It is indeed there that the electric car is the most polluting, since it then catches up on its life cycle by avoiding the consumption of oil (if electricity is not produced with coal). And during production, the battery is obviously pointed out, The fault of the metals necessary for its manufacture (nickel, manganese, cobalt, lithium. ), to their extraction/refining. But contrary to popular belief, the battery is not the most polluting element of an electric vehicle in most of the cases !

Steel, too often forgotten

Studies on the “carbon” weight of batteries have been raining for a few years, but those on steel are much rarer. However, it is the most polluting element of a car. Renault’s ACV (life cycle analysis) study already compared the Zoe and Clio V in 2021 in 2021, two vehicles with a nearby template, in a similar segment.

The comparison between Zoe and Clio in pollution generated in production, by element

The above graph shows the share of each element of the vehicle in production, in terms of global warming. Unsurprisingly, in both cases, it is sheet metalie which represents the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. For electric, it is even in front of the battery ! And for good reason: the production of steel worldwide remains extremely polluting. To her only, It would represent almost 10 % of emissions directly from the planet’s fossil fuels. The fault of the massive use of coal (transformed into coke) for metallurgy: both for melting (long used for motor blocks) and for steel used in almost all of the chassis and structures of vehicle vehicles.

Always this weight problem

The main action lever to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles to their production therefore remains the reduction. Lighter cars will require less steel, and will therefore be less energy -consuming and delicious in raw materials. But the manufacturers do not seem to want to pass their models through drastic weight loss cures. Rather than reducing them, they have teamed up with large metallurgical companies to buy what is called “green steel” today. To replace coal ? Green hydrogen, produced from renewable energies. But this hydrogen has its physical limits (very greedy in electricity) and will probably not be able to massively replace coal in steel production. He will do so for the moment on the fringes, and probably hardly more for a long time.

Zoe Clio V
Metals ZOE 59 % Clio V 74 %
Traction battery ZOE 22 % Clio V /
Polymers Zoe 9 % Clio V 14 %
Parts (tires, battery) ZOE 4 % Clio V 5 %
Elastomers Zoe 2 % Clio V 3 %
Minerals Zoe 2 % Clio V 1 %
Others (adhesives, painting. )) Zoe 2 % Clio V 3 %

To illustrate the problem of weight, this table of Renault’s study is particularly speaking. He compares the “material compositions, as a mass percentage”. Clearly, the share of each element in the total weight of the vehicle. And it is clear that metals weigh heavily in an electric vehicle. Obviously less than a thermal in part, but this remains substantial with more than half of the total weight of the vehicle. Logic, since metals are found in the structure, wheels, rolling trains. But by working on lighter cars, the gain in terms of CO2 equivalent to production would be colossal. Still, we should accept to have less comfortable and spacious cars, but also less safe if the structures come alleged and the walls and amounts are refined.

Compare real autonomies of the best electric cars according to our standard of standardized measurements. Battery capacity, consumption, autonomy, we tell you everything !

Electric car: To limit pollution, here is how the batteries are recycled

Nassim Centouf

Li-Cycle has set up a process that allows you to recycle lithium-ion batteries, especially those of electric cars. Thanks to this technology, 95% of the battery is recycled. The company wants to facilitate global transition to electrification while reducing pollution.

Lithium-ion electricity electric car recycling battery recycling

The electric cars market is progressing. Motorists are turning to increasingly efficient batteries that ensure better energy efficiency. But contrary to what one might think, this component is far from ecological. To avoid additional pollution, lithium-ion batteries are recycled. Jerryrigeverhyme reveals this process on video.

95% of the battery is recycled thanks to this technology

Production of an electric car battery is far from clean. Especially since this is a very sensitive component that explodes the price of insurance because of the risk of embraces. To limit pollution – The creation of the battery represents 1/3 of the carbon footprint of the production of an electric car -, they are recycled in the factory. In the one presented by Jerryrigeverhyth (which does not recycle that those of electric cars, the videographer focuses on smartphones), we discover the different stages.

To start, the battery is found in a machine which separates plastic from nickel, cobalt and copper. Then, it is placed in a liquid that takes care of separating the metals to form a dark matter.

This dark matter leaves the factory to continue its life in a business where the metals that compose it are used again in the manufacture of batteries. This is a very ecological approach since 95% of the battery is recycled. It is possible to repeat the infinite process without loss of quality of metals !

What is this company that recycles lithium-ion batteries ?

It is to the Canadian company Li-Cycle that we owe this technology. The company wishes Answer the global problem of lithium-ion battery at the end of life. His goal ? “” Ensure a lasting future for our planet “Indicates the company on its site.

Thanks to its recycling of batteries, Li-Cycle wishes to participate to the global transition to electrification. So the adoption of electric cars, much less polluting than thermal cars.

�� You use Google News ? Add Tom’s Guide to Google News not to miss any important news from our site.