Battery Recycling in India
Safe disposal of e-waste is a big challenge. Delivery startup company e-BikeGo has started battery recycling to reduce e-waste. The company is recycling old lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The company will soon recycle lead-acid batteries as well. According to the company, lead-acid batteries are used in most three-wheeler electric vehicles in the country.
EV batteries can be taken out of the vehicle when their capacity is reduced by about 25%. For example, if a vehicle uses a 1,000-watt battery and it only stores 750 watts after a certain period of use, the battery can be taken out of the vehicle for recycling.
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In the case of lithium-ion batteries, more than 99% of the lithium can be extracted for recycling. This lithium can be used to make new batteries and used batteries can also be used in solar plants or for other purposes.
The startup claims that it is careful not to generate e-waste in the recycling process. Recycling is claimed in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.
Recycling can reduce the value of electric vehicle batteries. Batteries comprise about 50 percent of the total cost of any electric vehicle. Since there is less production of lithium-ion batteries in India, they have to be imported from other countries and this increases the cost of electric vehicles.
In FY 2020, 27,260 units of high-speed electric two-wheelers were sold in India as against 27,224 units in FY19. E-BikeGo claimed to have purchased 1,400 electric scooters in the financial year 2020, which was around 5 percent of the total sales volume.
Commenting on the recycling drive, the startup’s founder co-CEO, Irfan Khan said that this strategy will reduce the mining of lithium, which is actually hazardous to the environment.
This way we will not only get the best return on investment in batteries but will benefit society at large. This would reduce the need for mining, which is often hazardous to the environment.