A new report from the Pembina Institute urges British Columbia to become a national leader in recycling electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The Closing the Loop report notes that the surge of EV ownership will be an opportunity for the province to take the lead on sustainable and environmentally conscious recycling.
The report notes that the BC Government needs to accelerate the implementation of its recycling regulations from 2026 to 2023. In addition, BC should work with the federal government to make lasting policy change. This includes establishing content targets for incorporating recycled metals and minerals into EV batteries produced in Canada.
Moreover EV batteries have an estimated life span of between eight and fifteen years. This means that the first generation of EV batteries to hit BC roads are nearing the end of their life.
However, BC does not have the necessary regulations for battery recycling in place to handle EV battery cells. Which could be a challenge if BC meets current EV targets. As by 2030 the province will have 500,000 EVs on the road.
Currently, BC has one of the largest battery recycling plants for Tesla within its borders. Located in Trail, BC, Retriev Technologies removes nickel, cobalt, lithium and manganese from the battery to avoid wasting the mined resource.
In addition, the report notes that ensuring Canadian-made batteries include recycled materials and that mined materials are recovered from dead batteries will ensure the EV revolution is environmentally friendly.