Tesla: 100% recycling of used batteries

According to the latest reports, the success of electric car manufacturer Tesla is largely based on battery innovation, from the original Roadster to today’s Model S Plaid. Obviously, in the sustainable transportation market, Tesla’s battery technology is a key factor that enables the company to maintain its leading position relative to its competitors.

However, battery development is still prone to criticism, especially in battery recycling. Tesla clarified this in the 2020 Impact Report. The company stated that its used batteries have been 100% recycled and no batteries have been sent to landfills. In a recent document, Tesla also stated that the company has established an internal ecosystem to recycle and reuse used batteries.

Interestingly, most of the batteries currently received by Tesla are still pre-consumer batteries, which means they are usually used for R&D and quality control. The batteries that have been deployed to consumers, such as those used in products such as Model S and Powerwall, are still performing strongly today. Therefore, Tesla can only obtain a very limited number of batteries from the site, and they often come from vehicles that are widely used, such as taxis.

But with Tesla focusing a lot of energy on battery recycling, the company is seeking to finally realize a closed-loop system. Therefore, the on-site battery recycling facility at the company’s battery production base is critical to achieving this goal. Tesla added that once it achieves large-scale battery recycling, it may further push its products to the limit.

Tesla wrote: Although Tesla has been cooperating with third-party battery recyclers for many years to ensure that our batteries do not end up in landfills, we understand the importance of building internal recycling capabilities. On-site recycling brings us one step closer to establishing a closed-loop material production cycle mechanism, which allows the direct transfer of raw materials to our nickel and cobalt suppliers. The facility breaks the innovation cycle of large-scale battery recycling and enables Tesla to learn quickly through operations to improve the current design and conduct process testing on R&D products.

Tesla’s battery recycling efforts have almost confirmed that factories like Berlin and Texas will have their own battery production bases and will also be equipped with dedicated battery recycling plants. The more Tesla’s battery recycling system improves, the more cost-effective the company’s operations will become.

Tesla explained: As the manufacturer of our internal battery plan, we are most capable of recycling our products effectively and maximizing the recycling of key battery materials. With the implementation of internal battery manufacturing in the Berlin factory in Germany and the Texas factory, We expect the global manufacturing scrap rate to rise significantly. We intend to tailor recycling solutions for each location to reintroduce valuable materials into our manufacturing processes.

The company also stated: Our goal is to develop a safe recycling process with a high recovery rate, low cost and low environmental impact. From an economic point of view, we expect to achieve substantial savings in the long term because of the large-scale recycling of battery materials. The cost associated with recycling will be much lower than the cost of purchasing additional raw materials for battery manufacturing.

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