Volksagen Plans to Recycle EV Batteries

In the automotive business, manufacturing companies with a serious commitment to electric vehicles are considered forward thinking. Among these companies, those who are currently working on solutions for future issues related to EV vehicles are considered ahead of the curve. Volkswagen is showing an ability to score high marks in each area.

In the area of battery operated vehicle production, the investment by Volkswagen is substantial. Its goal is to produce a minimum of one million electric vehicles within the next 6 years. This goal could be one of the highest for major car manufacturers.

Recharging Station

With this many electric cars, there are a few issues to address: first, the issue of battery charging can limit the use of the vehicle. Though all owners will have a recharging station at home, this limits the use to a radius where the owner can return home for recharging. Volkswagen’s solution is the creation of a portable charging station, currently in development. The charging station will provide a high output of electricity and rapid transfer for a quick charge.

The quick charge feature limits the downtime of the vehicle. The portability feature allows the charging station to be taken to remote locations that do not have charging stations. In fact, it can be used in areas where electricity is unavailable. As a final feature, the charging station will be able to charge up to four vehicles at once.

Eventual Degradation of the Battery System

Another issue that is anticipated is the eventual degradation of the battery system. All batteries, including the most technologically advanced batteries, eventually lose the ability to hold a charge or recharge to full capacity. Eventually, the battery pack needs to be replaced. The current useful life for a top quality EV battery is approximately ten years.

Batteries for an electric car are expensive to manufacture and replace. A major reason for the expense is the metals needed to create the battery. These metals include aluminum, copper, zinc, manganese, and lithium. Each of these metals must be mined and refined before its use in an electric car battery. And of course, dumping expired lithium-ion batteries into a landfill is not an ecologically friendly solution.

For this reason, Volkswagen is in the process of creating a recycling operation for used lithium-ion batteries. In the process, the metals contained in the expired battery can be stripped and reused in the next generation of batteries. Each recycled battery will mean less mining or refining of these metals.

The Recycling Center

The recycling center plans on the initial capacity to recycle 1200 tons of EV batteries, with an increase in capacity in the future. VW hopes to eventually recycle 97 percent of the materials used in today’s batteries. The new recycling center for VW might achieve a short term goal of 72 percent.

We at Camelback VW are proud of our association with the forward-thinking Volkswagen Group and are happy to offer the E-Golf as an eco-friendly, economical alternative to gas-powered vehicles. Taking a test drive is the best method of experiencing the features and capabilities of the newest EV. For those not ready to make the switch, we also offer a full line of traditional vehicles offered by the VW Group.

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