EDITOR’S COMMENT: it turns out that electric vehicles aren’t as environmentally friendly as we thought… or did we already know that? Electric car batteries are being shipped off to Europe to be disposed of as we don’t have the facilities to do it. Also… is this another case of exporting British jobs abroad…?
Electric car batteries are being sent to Europe for recycling, a study has found, amid expert warnings that Britain is not ready for the electric vehicle revolution.
The UK urgently needs to establish its own battery recycling facilities to avoid paying to ship batteries to Europe and losing out on a multi-million pound industry as it makes the transition to electric vehicles, experts have warned.
Britain currently has no plans to set up its own recycling facilities for lithium-ion batteries, despite this week announcing a ban on new combustion engines within ten years.
Any old EV batteries must instead be stored in the UK and then shipped to recycling facilities in Europe, including Germany, Belgium and Finland.
Up to 75 per cent of the cost of recycling the batteries can go on transportation, according to a study from the University of Warwick.
Sending batteries overseas also means the UK loses the valuable precious metals which can be reused in new batteries, leaving it dependent on imports.
By 2040, there are expected to be 339,000 tonnes of EV batteries reaching the end of their life annually, according to the University of Warwick, with an average value of £3.3 per kg.