The evolving landscape of lithium batteries is creating both contradictions and infrastructure hurdles that, according to some, need to be addressed sooner rather than later. A critical component of this is waste management.
More than 6 million electric vehicle (EV) battery packs will end up as scrap between now and 2030, and the recycling and reuse industries are racing to keep up. Some researchers project that recycling alone will be an over $12 billion industry by 2025.
U.S. President Joe Biden wants to make America a key player in the EV battery industry with a $3.1 billion spending package for automobile production to transition away from fossil fuels.
Much of this dream is pinned on a dusty stretch of soil in the Nevada high desert called Thacker Pass. It serves as the lynchpin in Biden’s push for increased domestic lithium production and more EV batteries. That’s because Thacker Pass is the largest hard rock lithium reserve in the United States.
Currently, China dominates the world’s EV battery production, with more than 80 percent of all units developed there.
Yet while Biden’s administration has its sights on the top spot for EV battery production, insiders are pointing out industry trapdoors.