Your Old Phone's Battery Could Power Your Next Car

November 17, 2022
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Audi dealers are starting to collect household electronics such as old laptops and phones so they can be recycled into electric car batteries, according to Axios.

Why it matters: With global demand for lithium-ion batteries expected to grow by more than 500% in the next decade, it's one way to help seed creation of a domestic battery supply chain as envisioned under the climate, health cost reduction and tax law enacted in August.

The big picture: Long term, the auto industry is aiming to create a closed-loop supply of critical battery materials that can be reused in new batteries, reducing the need for imports and avoiding further environmental damage from mining.

What's happening: The consumer recycling program is a partnership between Volkswagen Group of America and Redwood Materials, a battery recycling startup that has been sounding the alarm about a shortage of battery minerals to meet EV demand.

  • Redwood is already partnering with the German automaker to recycle end-of-life batteries from VW and Audi electric cars. It has similar arrangements with Toyota, Ford, Volvo and others.
  • This is the first time an automaker is collecting household lithium-ion batteries and rechargeable devices that can be recycled domestically to create new electric vehicle batteries.

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