Tesla's unique battery recycling technology

Tesla has developed its own technology for recycling and disposing of used battery packs.

Tesla's annual environmental impact report for 2020 includes information on Tesla's efforts to dispose of batteries.

For many years, the company has worked with third-party recyclers of used traction batteries and in parallel developed its own "unique battery disposal system."

At the end of 2020, at Gigafactory in Nevada, Tesla launched the first phase of its own waste and battery recycling plant.

On-site recycling brings us one step closer to closing the material production cycle, allowing raw materials to be transferred directly to our nickel and cobalt suppliers. The facility opens a cycle of innovation for large-scale battery recycling, allowing Tesla to quickly upgrade existing designs through online training and product testing, ”the document said.

Tesla can recover more than 92% of battery source materials. With this level of recycling, the company is, in effect, becoming a producer of nickel, cobalt and other metals used in the manufacture of batteries.

In 2020, Nevada processed 1,300 tons of nickel, 400 tons of copper and 80 tons of cobalt. In the future, battery cell recycling lines will appear at all of the company's plants, including two new sites under construction in Germany and Texas.

We intend to adapt recycling solutions for each location and thus reintroduce valuable materials back into our production process. Our goal is to develop a safe recycling process with a high degree of recovery, low costs and low environmental impact. From an economic point of view, we expect to see significant savings in the long run, as the costs of large-scale recovery and recycling of batteries will be much lower than buying additional raw materials for cell production, "said Tesla.

At Gigafactory in Nevada, recycling of scrap from the production of Panasonic batteries has been established. This is done by Redwood Materials, led by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel.