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Financial viability of electric vehicle lithium-ion battery recycling

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mohammad RajaeifarORCiD, Professor Oliver Heidrich



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


© 2021 The AuthorsEconomically viable electric vehicle lithium-ion battery recycling is increasingly needed; however routes to profitability are still unclear. We present a comprehensive, holistic techno-economic model as a framework to directly compare recycling locations and processes, providing a key tool for recycling cost optimization in an international battery recycling economy. We show that recycling can be economically viable, with cost/profit ranging from (−21.43 - +21.91) $·kWh−1 but strongly depends on transport distances, wages, pack design and recycling method. Comparing commercial battery packs, the Tesla Model S emerges as the most profitable, having low disassembly costs and high revenues for its cobalt. In-country recycling is suggested, to lower emissions and transportation costs and secure the materials supply chain. Our model thus enables identification of strategies for recycling profitability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lander L, Cleaver T, Rajaeifar MA, Nguyen-Tien V, Elliott RJR, Heidrich O, Kendrick E, Edge JS, Offer G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: iScience

Year: 2021

Volume: 24

Issue: 7

Print publication date: 23/07/2021

Online publication date: 23/07/2021

Acceptance date: 22/06/2021

Date deposited: 13/09/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2589-0042

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102787


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