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Overview of the Global Auto Battery Recycling Industry

2018-12-14 13:30 Friday

Due largely to favorable government policies in recent years, China's new energy vehicle sector has grown by leaps and bounds with projected sales of more than 1 million in 2018.

Industry experts have noted that a large number of new energy vehicle batteries will expire beginning in 2018, and by 2020  280-300 thousand tons will need to be disposed.

auto battery recycling

To regulate the recycling of electric vehicle batteries and reduce environmental contamination, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in conjunction with six other agencies, has implemented the Pilot Program of Recycling Traction Batteries of New Energy Vehicles. Despite this positive development, battery recycling-related infrastructure is still inadequate, and secondary pollution still occurs during the course of  the recycling process.

The battery recycling sector in China remains immature when compared with that in developed countries.


Japan has been at the forefront of thebattery recycling industry since 1994, when Japan's battery manufacturers established a comprehensive battery recycling system. The Japanese government has also implemented a series of subsidy policies to incentivize participation in the battery recycling process.


The EU mandated that battery manufacturers to establish a recycling system in 2008, and further  stipulated the legal obligations of manufacturers, importers, distributors and consumers. EU regulations ensure that consumers can get their battery deposit back once they have returned the battery.

United States

Most U.S. states abide by the regulations of the Battery Council International, which requires battery manufacturers to recycle discarded batteries and label batteries with recycling mark. Similar to the EU, America has also adopted a battery deposit policy.


Legislation in Germany stipulates that battery manufacturers should undertake the primary responsibility for battery recycling. Germany's battery deposit policy incentivizes consumers to return discarded batteries to the authorized authorities.

Generally speaking, the battery recycling industry in developed countries is regulated by market principles and supplemented by rigorous legislation that holds manufacturers, consumers, and other relevant parties responsible for managing the industry's negative externalities.

Chinese enterprises can draw from the example of developed countries to find the most cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution to the coming challenge of vehicle battery recycling.

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