Environmental records: recycling

A comprehensive consideration of the life cycles also includes a vehicle’s end of life situation. Additional energy is expended for its disposal, and sometimes also generated (combustion). Many raw materials can also be regained from a vehicle and used for new vehicles or other applications (recycling). This reduces the burden of the environmental record compared to the exclusive use of primary materials. This can also counteract a scarcity of raw material  – e.g. lithium.

In the context of the BMUB funding programme “erneuerbar mobil” [renewably mobile], Projekte dprojects have been and will be implemented with the aim of further developing recycling technology specifically for lithium ion batteries. These will demonstrate the technical possibility of retrieval and will quantify the ecological advantages. Metals like copper, nickel and cobalt are already routinely retrieved. In the case of lithium, however, recycling is currently not yet viable owing to the relatively cost-effective availability of primary lithium and the currently low demand for electric vehicles.