Tesla has been building and selling electric cars for three years now. During that period Tesla has sold more than 1,500 Roadsters to customers in at least 30 countries.
The battery packs in these new age sports cars is expected to last 7-10 years or about 100.000 miles under normal use, meaning in just a few years it is time to change the battery packs for the first owners of the Tesla Roadster.
Looks like Tesla is ready for it as they have teamed up with Belgium’s Umicore to establish a lithium-ion battery recycling program in Europe.
Umicore will recycle Tesla’s spent lithium-ion battery packs, converting the materials into an alloy that will be refined into individual components such as cobalt, nickel and other metals. During the final recycling step, Umicore will transform, via high-tech processing methods, the remaining cobalt into lithium cobalt oxide, which it will then sell to battery manufacturers.
“While we work to help lessen global dependence on petroleum-based transportation and drive down the cost of electric vehicles, we are also taking the lead in developing a closed loop battery recycling system,” Tesla’s Director of Energy Storage Systems Kurt Kelty wrote in a new blog about the process.
Next year Tesla will launch a Model S, that has a planned annual production run of 20,000 units.