News ≫ SL cautioned of electric vehicle battery disposal woes

SL cautioned of electric vehicle battery disposal woes

Oct 25, 2017
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Disposing of electric vehicle (EV) batteries could become a national issue in the medium to long-term without proper policies, as the first electric cars will begin to require replacements for their batteries shortly, an automobile industry stakeholder told a recent seminar in Colombo.

“We need proper disposal guidelines and measurements for EV batteries. Improper disposal will become toxic for the environment,” Associated Motorways (Private) Limited (AMW) Deputy General Manager Pradeep Wijerathne told a public consultation seminar organized by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

Over a dozen other experts and EV enthusiasts speaking at the event, including officials from the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board, too mirrored the sentiments of Wijerathne.

Sri Lanka already has a major crisis in disposing waste. Added to this is Sri Lanka’s e-waste problem. Currently, in the category of mobile phones alone, there are more in operation compared to the country’s population. Mobile phones are regularly replaced, resulting in a massive pile of e-waste.

The Lithium-Ion EV batteries too are similar to the small mobile phone batteries—the most toxic component of the devices. However, the EV batteries are considered too large to be land-filled in countries already facing problems with EV battery disposal.

Disposing and recycling EV batteries has become a profitable and scalable industry, since both vehicle manufacturers and governments in many countries have pledged to make EVs the only vehicles in production in another 20-30 years time.

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