LG Chem CEO Kim Jong-hyun called for EV battery makers to turn the business into a sustainable one by constantly considering environmental problems.
“Recycling EV batteries is one key way to maintain sustainability,” said Kim during a keynote speech on Oct. 17 at the Battery Conference 2019.
EV batteries are known to emit as much CO2 as gas-fueled cars. According to US-based MIT, the Tesla Model S emits up to 226g of CO2 per kilometer from production to the moment it is scrapped. This is bigger than the 192g per kilometer of a small gas-fueled car.
"A battery that has powered an EV for 10 years to drive up to 300,000 kilometers is up to 80% reusable," said Kim. "Recycling EV batteries would not only be environmentally healthier, but also can help cut EV prices."
LG Chem is reusing some of its EV batteries at its overseas facilities, and is now considering applying the methods to its domestic operations as well.
The CEO also said that the battery makers need to play a bigger role to contribute to the eco-system in general: "Until now, battery makers have been concerned only with the manufacturing process, but now, they need to think about the materials as well, and find ways that the manufacturers and the suppliers can grow mutually."
Kim added that new industries such as ride-sharing and autonomously-driven cars will continue to drive the demand for EV batteries. According to market research firms, up to 15% of globally sold cars will be EVs by 2024. The battery market is also likely to grow in correspondence to $150 billion by 2025.
Industry figures showed that in 2018, the 2.4 million electric vehicles were sold, representing less than 3% of total global vehicle sales.
Regarding the entry of carmakers into the battery market, Kim said it would be impossible for them to create products that surpass the quality of EV battery makers.
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