End-of-life treatment of electric vehicle batteries: Efforts to respond to global environmental and resource challenges
On October 24, 2023, the General Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held a workshop on solutions for end-of-life treatment of electric vehicle batteries.
The workshop focused on the discussion of hazardous waste management policy in Vietnam and end-of-life battery management experiences in Europe, Japan and Asia. The situation of end-of-life treatment of electric vehicle batteries in Vietnam and around the world is becoming more and more important and focused, especially in the context of people’s awareness of the impacts of climate change is gradually increasing.
Vietnam has made significant strides in the development of electric vehicles with the increase of electric motor vehicles from 140 vehicles in 2019 to about 2,000,000 electric scooters and 11,000 electric cars by the end of 2022. The number of electric buses and taxis has increased in cities. The domestic electric vehicle industry has also set out ambitious plans to develop a complete ecosystem for electric vehicles, including providing charging and battery solutions.
The proliferation of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure electric vehicles will help reduce carbon emissions in the transportation industry. However, this poses a challenge in terms of battery management after the lifecycle of electric vehicles, it is necessary to find a way to simultaneously promote electric transport and protect resources, reducing the cost of manufacturing new batteries through material recycling.
Mr. Ha Minh Hiep, Acting Director General of the STAMEQ
Mr. Ha Minh Hiep, Acting Director General of the STAMEQ emphasized: “The increasing number of electric vehicles and electric vehicle batteries is posing challenges to manufacturers and managers in waste management, namely the solution of reusing and recycling electric vehicle batteries at the end of life. Battery recycling brings many benefits, not only contributing to protecting the living environment but also bringing important economic benefits by recovering valuable minerals such as cobalt, nickel, lithium… This helps to minimize the constant exploitation that puts pressure on the supply chain. ”
Mr. Patrick Haverman – Deputy Representative UNDP Viet Nam
Mr. Patrick Haverman – Deputy Representative UNDP Viet Nam emphasized: “First, because the demand for electric vehicles and electric vehicle batteries increased at the same time, the demand for significant volumes of important raw materials also increased. To limit the environmental impact of electric vehicle batteries at the end of their useful life, we need to maximize the value of our products by reusing, reproducing and recycling all relevant components.
The second, circular economy policy approaches can create business opportunities for electric vehicle battery manufacturers, third-party suppliers, and other stakeholders in the industrial supply chain. To facilitate these changes, governments can create an enabling environment by developing policies and regulations, addressing the need for capacity building, strengthening institutional frameworks, establishing recycling and material reprocessing networks, and encouraging the development of a more efficient automotive industry.
Thirdly, promote the provision of technical guidance on secondary battery and battery management to create a technical basis for manufacturers, recycling organizations and managers to research and develop appropriate management methods for the end-of-life stage of electric vehicles ”.
At the workshop, Mr. Winter Ho, Senior Engineer of UL Solutions Taiwan suggested that Vietnam should develop a strategy to support battery reuse, including using standards such as UL 1974 and IEC standards being developed. He also recommended that Vietnam should participate in the development of international standards through technical committees.
Mr. Koji Maehara, a representative of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (Jama), said it is important to identify and fully implement the roles and responsibilities of the government, the recycling industry and users in order to create a society towards recycling through proper waste disposal.
The workshop is one of the activities of the project “Scaling up electric transport and mechanisms to promote investment in green projects in Vietnam” implemented by UNDP, supported by the Government of Japan, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by strengthening the ecosystem for electric transport and green transport at the national level