While electric vehicle sales have nearly doubled in the past year, they still represent just over 5% of vehicles on the road, and many of the other drivers are still guessing at how they work.
Some of the biggest misconceptions about EVs are related to batteries and battery recycling, according to a new survey(Opens in a new window) of 1,004 randomly selected US consumers by Ascend Elements(Opens in a new window). Almost half (47%) believe that EV batteries cannot be recycled at all, and they will pile up in landfills full of toxic, leaking, old batteries. However, an impressive 39% are aware that batteries can be recycled and rehabbed over and over to make new EV batteries without performance loss.
“We’ve encountered many myths and misconceptions about electric vehicles and, in particular, EV battery recycling,” says Roger Lin, VP of Global Marketing and Government Relations at Ascend Elements. “The industry has made terrific advances in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of lithium-ion battery recycling, but these false narratives about EV batteries continue. [It should be] unthinkable to let a lithium-ion battery go to landfill. They are just too valuable.”
The top five minerals inside the batteries—lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, and graphite—are known as “critical minerals.” They are expensive, and largely sourced via environmentally taxing mines mostly located outside the US. About 45% of respondents think the US isn’t competitive when it comes to manufacturing lithium-ion EV batteries, and they’re right: China accounts for 70% of global battery production.