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Are Tesla Batteries Recyclable?

Interior of a Tesla when it's Charging the Battery

By: Otaiba Ahsan

If you’ve owned a Tesla or another electric vehicle (EV) for long enough, there’s a chance someone has said to you that it’s actually not better for the environment. A lot of this sentiment is related to the battery packs of these cars, and what happens to them when the life of the vehicle comes to an end. So, are Tesla batteries recyclable? Continue reading for more.

Battery Recycling

What happens to a Tesla battery pack once it has reached the end of its life? Tesla has publicly addressed this question, and we’ve got the answers for you.

In short, materials used in a Tesla lithium-ion battery are recoverable and recyclable. When a battery reaches the end of its life, the materials inside can be refined and put into a cell for further use, and once that cell can no longer function, it can be recycled to recover its valuable materials for reuse over and over again.

NOTE: It’s important to acknowledge that fossil fuels, which power gas cars, cannot be recovered for reuse. On the flip side, burning gas to fuel a vehicle releases harmful emissions into the atmosphere. In summary, fossil fuels cannot be recycled and they contribute more to greenhouse gas release when it comes to driving a car.

Extending the Life

While the materials used in the battery for your car can be recycled, Tesla states that extending the life of a battery pack is a better option. They mean this both from an environmental standpoint, as well as for business reasons.

Therefore, the Tesla team will always try to extend the life of a battery back before decommissioning it and sending it off for recycling. However, once a battery doesn’t meet the needs of a driver, it can be serviced by Tesla at any of their centers.

NOTE: None of the scrapped lithium-ion batteries go into landfills, as the company states that 100% of the materials are recycled.

The Bottom Line

Are Tesla batteries recyclable? The short answer is, yes, 100% of the materials in their battery packs can be recycled and nothing is sent to a landfill. However, the company emphasizes that they do everything in their power to extend the lives of their batteries before decommissioning it. This is because it’s better for the environment overall to continue the use of an existing battery, and also it costs Tesla less money as they don’t have to use a new one.

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