Tesla Significantly Increases Its Battery Recycling Capacity

In the past years, Tesla has confirmed that they have seen a huge increase in their battery recycling capacity.

Tesla Significantly Increases Its Battery Recycling Capacity

Yet they are only seeing a small number of their battery packs coming back from customers’ vehicles. They aim is to make their electric vehicles as sustainable for as long as they can.

In this article, we will be discussing more about Tesla and its increase in battery recycling capacity.

Electric Vehicles Produce Better Emissions

A lot of people are beginning to prefer to choose an electric vehicle over a gas powered vehicle due to the decreased amount of emissions that they produce.

In addition to this, when it comes to electrical vehicles, owners of these vehicles have more energy sources to choose from. Thus, they have a larger range of sources to be able to charge their electric car. For instance, a gas powered car is limited to petrol or diesel.

An electric car can be charged using renewable energy. This way of charging your car also helps you to reduce the amount of emissions that your car produces.

When it comes to manufacturing electric vehicles, some people claim that the resources and energy that are required to build the batteries and dispose of batteries for these vehicles outweigh the lower emissions that these cars produce.

However, what some people fail to realize is that battery recycling helps with the amount of emissions that are created while making these batteries.

The more batteries that are recycled, the less are produced, which then drops the emissions it takes to create an electric vehicle.

Battery recycling is becoming a key part of the ecosystem of an electric car. Especially as electric cars are becoming more popular and as time goes by, you will start to see 20-year-old batteries being withdrawn.

However, these batteries still need to be disposed of in a more eco-friendly way than being thrown onto a landfill site.

Battery Recycling With Tesla

To begin with, Tesla was collaborating with a range of third party recyclers, back in 2019. As the company was trying to create its own unique battery recycling system.

However, it has been reported that in 2020, Tesla started to use a new battery recycling process and managed to recover 92% of battery cell material.

As a result, in that year, Tesla managed to recycle on average 80 tons of cobalt, 400 tons of copper, and 1,300 tons of nickel from its new recycling process.

Then in 2021, Tesla produced a report called the Impact Report. In this report, Tesla spoke about and gave an update on how well their battery recycling system was working.

The report explains that in 2021, Tesla was doing much better in its battery recycling effort, by recycling 200 tons of cobalt, 300 tons of copper, and 1,500 tons of nickel.

What is interesting, is that in 2021, the amount of copper that was recovered was slightly reduced from the previous year. However, with that being said, the nickel and cobalt recovery both had significant increases in their recovery.

At the moment, the price for cobalt is around $80,000 for every ton. Therefore, it is believed that Tesla at the time of writing has currently recovered around $16 million worth of cobalt in the last year alone.

Although, there has been a recent increase in nickel prices. Thus, the amount of nickel that Tesla has now recovered in the last year alone could be worth around $45 million.

Tesla Are Recycling Taxi Battery Packs

Tesla Are Recycling Taxi Battery Packs

In addition to all of this, Tesla has also said that they have increased their overall recycling capacity, with a production rate of around 50 tons every week of recycled material.

Even though Tesla has increased its recycling capacity and production, the company has said that it is only receiving a very small amount of battery packs from its customers’ vehicles to recycle.

Instead, the majority of battery packs that they are recycling are coming from vehicles such as taxis or taxi like services.

Tesla has said that they understand that they have been producing their Model S, for around 10 years now. Yet, they have been producing their energy storage product for a shorter amount of time.

As a result, they do understand it will be some time before they start receiving more battery packs back from their customers.

Most Batteries Come From R&D And Quality Control Departments

Even though Tesla is recycling a large volume of batteries, they are either not from their customer’s vehicles, as mentioned above. Or they are from the company’s research and development or quality control departments.

As a result, they are recycling the test and experiment packs for future vehicles they are trailing.

This is because Tesla has made its batteries extremely durable. Therefore, they are meant to last many years before they need to be replaced. As a result, due to these batteries having such a long service life, very few of them are coming back to Tesla to be recycled.

Thus, the batteries that Tesla is being brought in are from other departments within the company. Alongside this, Tesla has recently stated that none of their scrapped lithium batteries are to go to landfill sites anymore.

Now they are to be 100% recycled. This is because Tesla is trying to establish its own internal ecosystem so that it can re-manufacture batteries that are coming back to it.

Tesla likes to consider various options before they have to recycle the battery. Yet, Tesla has noted that they understand battery recycling is going to take on a much larger role in the future when it comes to supplying materials for these batteries.

In addition to this, the company has also realized that the whole automotive industry needs to start expanding mined material production in order to be able to support the growth of electrical vehicles.

This is as more and more people are turning away from gas powered cars and toward electric cars instead.

Final Thoughts

In the past few years, Tesla has significantly increased its battery recycling capacity. Every year, they are increasing the amount of batteries and materials that are being recycled. In the past couple of years, they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the amount of material they have recalled.

With that being said, Tesla has noticed that the majority of battery packs they are recycling are not coming from customer’s vehicles, instead, they are coming from taxi like service cars and quality control and R&D departments.

Tesla has realized that the way forward is battery recycling, especially when it comes to the material that you can recycle from these batteries. Thus, fewer battery packs end up on landfill sites.

We hope you have found this article insightful and now have a better understanding of the impact Tesla is having with its increased battery recycling capacity.

Jonathan Rice