Perspective Open Access

Estimate of Economic Impact of EVs Li-ion Batteries Recovery

Clean Energy and Sustainability. 2023, 1(1), 10005;
Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and of Economics (DIIIE), Engineering Headquarters of Roio, University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 31 Jul 2023    Accepted: 04 Sep 2023    Published: 13 Sep 2023   


Nowadays, increasing attention is directed towards the sustainable use of raw materials. For a circular economy, recovery from spent devices represents a fundamental practice. With the transition to electric mobility, an increasing number of devices powered by lithium batteries are produced. Indeed, this is the fastest growing sector producing spent batteries, which are an important secondary source of critical raw materials, such as lithium, cobalt, graphite, and nickel. Therefore, this work aims to quantify the economic impact of recovering raw materials from lithium batteries used in the electric vehicles sector. Based on the chemical composition of the various lithium batteries and their market diffusion, the intrinsic economic value of this waste has been estimated to be around 6500 €/ton. Starting from the literature data on the global energy demand from lithium batteries and deriving the trend of their specific energy over time, the mass of material introduced into the market annually is estimated to reach 60 Mton/year by 2040. The annual amount of end-of-life lithium batteries was calculated by applying the Weibull distribution to describe the probability of failure, yielding 10 Mton/year by 2040. Finally, based on these results, the economic impact of the recovery market was assessed for two different scenarios.


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