Study warns that new battery design may reduce incentive for effective recycling
Montreal, 22 December 2015—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has released a new report outlining best practices to recapture and recycle the materials used in electric-drive vehicle (EDV) batteries once they reach the end of their service lives.
The study—carried-out in partnership with Environment Canada, Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Semarnat) and Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático(INECC), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—examines how EDV batteries are currently managed at end-of-life across North America to best protect human health and the environment.
The market in North America for electric-drive vehicles has surged over the last 10 years and the supply of end-of-life batteries for EDVs is expected to continue to increase. This represents a vital opportunity to recapture and recycle the valuable materials used in EDV batteries, such as nickel, cobalt, steel, and other components.
The new CEC report, titled Environmentally Sound Management of End-of-Life Batteries from Electric-Drive Vehicles in North America, warns that design changes to incorporate less costly materials in EDV batteries need to be assessed to ensure the continuing environmentally sound management of the batteries at end-of-life.
According to the report, governments should also be vigilant so that appropriate legislation is in place to support and promote the environmentally sound recycling of these batteries.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations
The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.