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Risk management over the life cycle of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul ChristensenORCiD, Dr Simon LambertORCiD, Dr Wojciech MrozikORCiD, Dr Mohammad RajaeifarORCiD, malcolm Wise, Professor Oliver Heidrich



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 The AuthorsLithium-ion Batteries (LIB) are an essential facilitator of the decarbonisation of the transport and energy system, and their high energy densities represent a major technological achievement and resource for humankind. In this research, it has been argued that LIBs have penetrated everyday life faster than our understanding of the risks and challenges associated with them. The current safety standards in the car industry have benefited from over 130 years of evolution and refinement, and Electric Vehicle (EV) and LIB are comparably in their infancy. This paper considers some of the issues of safety over the life cycle of batteries, including: the End of Life disposal of batteries, their potential reuse in a second-life application (e.g. in Battery Energy Storage Systems), recycling and unscheduled End of Life (i.e. accidents). The failure mechanism and reports from a range of global case studies, scenarios and incidents are described to infer potential safety issues and highlight lessons that can be learned. Therefore, the safety risks of LIBs were categorised, and the regularity requirements to create and inform a wider debate on the general safety of LIBs were discussed. From the analysis, a range of gaps in current approaches have been identified and the risk management systems was discussed. Ultimately, it is concluded that robust educational and legal processes are needed to understand and manage the risks for first responders and the public at large to ensure a safe and beneficial transition to low carbon transportation and energy system.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Christensen PA, Anderson PA, Harper GDJ, Lambert SM, Mrozik W, Rajaeifar MA, Wise MS, Heidrich O

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Year: 2021

Volume: 148

Print publication date: 01/09/2021

Online publication date: 11/06/2021

Acceptance date: 16/05/2021

Date deposited: 28/06/2021

ISSN (print): 1364-0321

ISSN (electronic): 1879-0690

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2021.111240


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