How does recycling EV batteries help the environment?

The many benefits for the environment of second life EV batteries include:

  • A reduction in mineral extraction and an increase in resource conservation, thereby preventing the further depletion of the Earth’s minerals and avoiding energy- and emission-intensive material processing
  • A reduction of waste in the environment
  • The reuse of materials after they have been recycled


Moreover, extending the life of batteries means reducing their carbon footprint and increasing the amount of renewable energy on the grid. It also makes electric vehicles cheaper because it converts waste disposal costs into residual value, further fostering the energy transition and triggering a virtuous cycle of decarbonization.

Which materials from electric car batteries can be recycled?

The most valuable materials that can be recycled from EV batteries are lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese. And, when we consider that demand for EVs is expected to see double-digit growth over the current decade, it is estimated that the need for lithium and cobalt will increase eighty- and fifty-fold respectively by 2030.

The environmental importance of Second Life: EV batteries for power storage

Battery Energy Storage Solutions

Battery Energy Storage Solutions

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Energy storage systems and batteries play a strategic role in the energy transition value chain, since they can absorb the excess energy produced by renewable energy sources, such as a photovoltaic system, and consume it when necessary.


They are therefore essential for creating more effective, efficient, and competitive electrification solutions in several areas: in production plants, distribution networks and several beyond-commodity services for businesses, homes, and cities. It is specifically in the remit of second life batteries that Enel X is dedicated to developing solutions for a sustainable and circular economy.

A good example of the use of EV batteries for power storage is at a plant in Melilla, a Spanish city in North Africa. The plant operates a 4MW/1.7MWh backup power storage system, using 78 repurposed Nissan electric vehicle batteries.


Another good example is being showcased by WMG (the Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick in the UK. Here EV batteries are being repurposed by researchers for use as small battery energy storage systems (BESS) for off-grid locations.

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