The Battery Industry Group
We’ve put together some frequently asked questions about the large batteries typically used in EVs and energy storage systems and about the scheme development.
The lifespan of batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) varies depending on several factors, including the type of battery, how the vehicle is used and maintained, and the climate in which the vehicle is operated.
Generally, EV batteries are designed to last for several years and are often warrantied for 8-10 years or a certain number of miles/kilometers, whichever comes first. The warranties may also guarantee a certain amount of capacity or performance over the lifespan of the battery.
In addition to the warranty, the lifespan of an EV battery can be affected by several factors, including:
The exact lifespan of an EV battery will depend on a range of factors, but many EV batteries are expected to last for several years and tens or even hundreds of thousands of miles/kilometres. As battery technology continues to improve and become more efficient, the lifespan and performance of EV batteries are likely to continue to improve as well.
The lifespan of solar system batteries can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of battery, its usage patterns, and the environment in which it is used.
Lithium-ion batteries can last up to 20 years or more. However, this is a rough estimates, and the actual lifespan of a battery will depend on how well it is maintained and how it is used.
To extend the lifespan of solar system batteries, it is important to ensure that they are regularly maintained and properly charged.
Batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) can often be reused, even after they have reached the end of their useful life in the vehicle. Although the batteries may no longer be suitable for powering a vehicle, they can still retain a significant amount of their capacity and be useful in other applications, such as stationary energy storage for homes, businesses, or the grid.
When batteries are removed from EVs, they are typically tested to determine their remaining capacity and performance. Those with sufficient capacity and performance may be repurposed for use in stationary energy storage applications. By repurposing these batteries, it is possible to extend their useful life and reduce waste.
Repurposing EV batteries for stationary energy storage can also help to increase the adoption of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, by providing a cost-effective and reliable way to store excess energy and use it when it is needed. In addition, reusing EV batteries can help to reduce the cost of energy storage systems, making them more accessible and affordable for consumers.
Overall, the ability to reuse batteries from EVs is an important aspect of the transition to a more sustainable energy system. As the number of EVs on the road continues to grow, the ability to repurpose these batteries for use in stationary energy storage is likely to become an increasingly important part of the energy storage landscape.
Batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) can be recycled through a process that involves disassembling the battery pack, recovering valuable metals and other materials, and disposing of any remaining waste materials in an environmentally responsible manner.
The recycling process typically involves the following steps:
Recycling batteries from EVs is important to reduce the environmental impact of the growing number of EVs on the road. It helps to conserve valuable natural resources, reduce the demand for mining of new materials, and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Additionally, recycling can also help to reduce the cost of producing new batteries, making EVs more affordable and accessible for .
The production of electric vehicles (EVs) generally has a higher carbon footprint compared to that of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This is because EVs require more energy-intensive materials, such as the battery pack, and production of these materials can result in higher emissions.
However, studies have shown that over the lifetime of the vehicle, including use and disposal, EVs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than ICE vehicles. This is primarily due to the fact that EVs do not produce tailpipe emissions during use, while ICE vehicles emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Additionally, as renewable energy sources become more prevalent, the carbon footprint of charging EVs will continue to decrease.
It’s important to note that the carbon footprint of both EVs and ICE vehicles is affected by a range of factors, including the efficiency of the vehicle, the source of electricity used to power the vehicle, the distance driven, and the manufacturing and disposal processes. Overall, transitioning to EVs can help reduce emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change, but it is important to consider the full life cycle of the vehicle and work towards more sustainable and ethical production.
In general, electric vehicles (EVs) have a lower carbon footprint than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles when considering the entire lifecycle of the vehicle, including production, operation, and disposal.
New Zealand generates a high percentage of its electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, wind, and geothermal, which makes EVs in New Zealand even cleaner. A study by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in 2015 found that in New Zealand, a typical EV charged from the national grid has around 80% less CO2 emissions over its lifetime than a typical petrol car.
However, if an EV is charged using electricity generated from non-renewable sources such as coal, the carbon footprint of the vehicle will be higher than a similarly sized ICE vehicle. Additionally, the manufacturing process of EVs produces emissions, but these emissions are generally offset by the lower operational emissions over the lifetime of the vehicle.
Overall, in New Zealand, EVs generally have a lower carbon footprint than ICE vehicles when considering their entire lifecycle. However, the actual carbon footprint of an EV compared to an ICE vehicle in New Zealand will depend on various factors and the specific circumstances of the vehicle’s use.
Solar systems with batteries have the potential to save even more emissions than traditional solar systems because they enable more effective use of renewable and can help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Solar energy systems with batteries allow excess energy generated during the day to be stored for use at night or during periods of low sunlight. This can help to offset the need for fossil fuel-based electricity generation during these times. Additionally, solar systems with batteries can provide a reliable source of electricity in areas with unreliable or inadequate grid infrastructure, further reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
While there are greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and transportation of batteries, studies have shown that the emissions saved through the use of battery storage typically outweigh these initial emissions within a few years of operation. The precise emissions savings will depend on a range of factors, such as the size and efficiency of the solar system and battery, as well as the energy mix of the local electricity grid.
Overall, solar energy systems with batteries have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are an important part of transitioning to a more sustainable and reliable energy system.
It is difficult to compare the human rights record of cobalt and lithium mining with that of oil extraction, as both industries can have significant negative impacts on human rights in different ways.
Cobalt and lithium mining, which are essential for the production of batteries used in electric vehicles and other electronics, have been linked to child labour, unsafe working conditions, and environmental damage. Many of the world’s cobalt mines are located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some workers, including children, work in dangerous conditions for very little pay.
On the other hand, oil extraction has been linked to a range of human rights violations, including forced displacement of communities, water and air pollution, and impacts on the health of workers and nearby residents. The oil industry has also been criticized for its impact on climate change, which can disproportionately affect vulnerable communities around the world.
Ultimately, both cobalt and lithium mining and oil extraction can have negative impacts on human rights, and it is important to prioritise the protection of human rights in all industries.
This is one of the reasons the concept of battery passports is important. They can track not only a battery’s health, but information on where materials have come from, its human rights standards and carbon footprint.
Read more about the Global Battery Alliance Battery Passport Project
Read the report Industry insights and data use pilot for large battery product stewardship in New Zealand
Read about the Global Battery Alliance’s action areas on child labour
To enable innovation and collaboration so that New Zealand can play our part in the circular value chain that will power the transition to a low emissons economy. To reduce the risk of environmental harm from batteries at the end of their useful life.
That’s why the government included them in the declaration of priority products in 2020 under Electrical and electronic products (e-waste including large batteries).
Priority products are categories of products which the government has decided must be managed through a regulated product stewardship scheme. This is when regulations are used to:
All batteries over 5kg are in the scope of the scheme, (excluding lead acid batteries). These include the types of batteries that are used in electric vehicles and for stationery energy storage such as in solar energy systems. Batteries under 5kg (like those commonly used in e-bikes), will be in scope for other e-waste schemes.
The scheme will be accountable for what happens to batteries throughout their life cycle. It will bring together everyone from vehicle and battery importers, sellers, and servicers to stationery energy storage users, second life users, car dismantlers and recyclers. It will enable innovation and collaboration.
The scheme will be funded by an Advanced Stewardship Fee paid when a battery is imported or manufactured. This fee will then be used to operate the scheme.
Businesses who import, sell, install, service, repurpose or recycle large batteries.
For more detail, see our milestone three report
Users of large batteries will be assured that there is an end of life pathway for their batteries at the end of their useful life. For vehicle batteries, that may mean second life as stationary energy storage before batteries are recycled.
Once the scheme is accredited, there is a regulatory and cabinet process that will allow fees to be charged so the scheme can get underway. We are currently working towards being able to apply for accreditation in 2023.
Second life storage is when a battery is initially used for one purpose and then repurposed for another. For example, once vehicle batteries no longer have the performance needed for a vehicle, they can often still be used to store power in other applications, such as solar energy for homes and workplaces.