In 2025, close to one million batteries that run the world’s growing fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) will no longer be fit for purpose, in our view. We think this will signal the take-off point for a new, important and fast-growing industry that is only going to get bigger: the recycling of EV batteries to extract the valuable metals, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese, they contain.
While the sales of EVs go from strength to strength, their batteries only began to be retired in 2021, so there will be a significant increase in the number available for recycling in the next few years. Given that we expect the global EV adoption rate to increase further, the direction of travel for the recycling business is clear.
Not surprisingly, given China’s dominant role in the production and sales of EVs, the country is leading the way, with more than 80% of global battery recycling capacity as of 2021.