Electric Vehicles: Batteries and Fuel Cells

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the recyclability of (a) batteries in electric vehicles and (b) fuel cells in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra has not made such an assessment. The Government has, however, supported and continues to support a number of projects related to the reuse and recycling of batteries and hydrogen fuel cells used in electric vehicles. Examples include the ‘ICoNiChem: recycling rare materials in electric vehicles’ study and the Fuel Cell Recovery Project.

Electric vehicle batteries are banned from disposal to landfill and from incineration. Battery treatment facilities are required to meet certain recycling efficiencies under the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009. These presently vary between 50% - 75% according to battery chemistry.

There are also obligations on vehicle producers to ensure that their vehicles are recyclable, and to meet reuse, recycling and recovery targets at the end-of-life of their vehicles.

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