AutoZone recycled 346,000 tons of batteries back to suppliers to be remanufactured, while LKQ Corporation recycled 658,000 batteries
As U.S. transportation systems embrace electric vehicles (EVs), the automotive aftermarket is leading the charge in recovering and recycling critical materials from EV batteries. Now more than ever, as war and geopolitical conflict limit the availability of sources of precious metals, such as palladium and nickel, the automotive aftermarket industry is helping meet the growing demand for EVs and increasing affordability for consumers by lowering manufacturing costs.
With estimates predicting that up to 80 percent of the lithium, cobalt, and nickel needed for EV batteries will come from recycled sources by 2040, members of the CAR Coalition are already making a sizeable impact in helping the transition to EVs.
In 2020, AutoZone recycled 346,000 tons of batteries back to suppliers to be remanufactured, while LKQ Corporation recycled 658,000 batteries. These actions build on the automotive aftermarket’s existing efforts to recover about 95 percent of car materials that can be repurposed into quality, recycled parts, diverting unnecessary waste from landfills.
Battery recycling not only prevents waste of valuable materials but also helps build a more resilient domestic EV supply chain, providing for greater energy security in America. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, recycling lithium-ion cells mitigates materials scarcity and promotes a more circular, secure materials supply chain in the domestic auto industry — a much-needed reality, considering 90 to 95 percent of the supply chain necessary to support EV battery cell expansion over the next decade currently does not exist.
The CAR Coalition asks that industry and consumers contact members of Congress to support the SMART and REPAIR Acts today to ensure a robust automotive aftermarket can continue to provide affordable, sustainable, and quality aftermarket car parts. Protecting right to repair in the automotive industry goes hand in hand with ensuring energy security and sustainability as EVs’ prevalence increases.
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