Electric vehicles (EVs) will have a significant impact on the aluminum markets as demand increases for the battery-powered units and the need for aluminum—at around 250kg per vehicle on average—grows.
The demand for aluminum from the electric vehicle (EV) markets in 2018 was 250,000mt. With estimates for global demand of EVs to grow tenfold, aluminum demand for EVs could reach as much as 10mn mt by the year 2030.
The growing popularity of these vehicles has prompted the US to embrace infrastructure changes that allow for charging stations and allow EVs to become an ubiquitous mode of transportation in the future.
The recycling industry will face the next challenge in this evolution, as they face the question of what should be done with an EV at the end of its life.
Traditional recycling requires the removal of a lead-acid car battery before shredding, a move supported for financial and safety reasons. Batteries in EVs are different in not only type but size and their location in the vehicle as well. The recycling market doesn’t currently have a method for profitably extracting these components today. However, this emerging market could provide many opportunities should a technology or method to extract these batteries develop in the near future.