Material flow analysis for end-of-life lithium-ion batteries from battery electric vehicles in the USA and China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number106061
Journal / PublicationResources, Conservation and Recycling
Online published12 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


In the fight for reducing GHG emissions from road transport, electromobility has gained huge attention in recent years. However, the higher adoption of battery electric vehicles in the transportation sector will increase the demand for battery materials, including nickel, lithium, copper, cobalt, and graphite. Therefore, this study estimates the future lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) market in the USA and China and its influences on the materials demand, end of life reaching of LIBs material, and second use based on three different scenarios. For this purpose, a multidimensional scenario analysis was developed for 2012 to 2030 to analyze the material flows from batteries of passenger electric vehicles in China and the USA. The result suggests strong benefits of a circular battery values chain. The results from three scenarios showed that in 2030 there would be around 5–7 kt of recovered Li, 35–60 kt of recovered Ni only in China. Based on the economic evaluation of LIBs in scenario 2, it was found that recovered nickel would have the economic values of 725 million US dollars only in 2030 in China. Through the second use assessment of LIBs in the third scenario, where 50% of used batteries were assumed for second use application, it was found that around 33 GWh batteries would be available for second use only in 2030 in China. Therefore, the larger portion of used LIBs should be utilized for a second life as it could further delay the recycling of LIBs, which can further give time to the government so that the improved and larger recycling infrastructure could be built to tackle a higher amount of coming used LIBs.

Research Area(s)

  • Battery electric vehicles, End of life, Lithium-ion batteries, Material flow analysis, Second life

Citation Format(s)