In 2019, 2.1 million electric cars were sold, and by 2030, the total number of these operational around world is expected to reach 130 million! As these vehicles, along with their components, age, they will lose their efficiency, as do all machines. Thus, with time, there will be a large stock of used vehicle batteries that can no longer be used for automotive traction purposes. Recycling these batteries is a cost-intensive and long process, which is why battery makers generally source virgin lithium metal from mines.
Therefore, P&S Intelligence says that the second-life lithium-ion battery market will grow from $430.0 million in 2019 to $7,392.0 million by 2030, at a high 23.1% CAGR between 2020 and 2030 (forecast period). This is because though depleted batteries can no longer be used to propel larger vehicles, they can still be used in low-speed EVs and for energy storage purposes in other industries, as the remaining 60–80% efficiency of such energy storage devices can fulfill these secondary purposes.
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In 2019, Asia-Pacific (APAC) dominated the second-life automotive lithium-ion battery market because of the high sales of EVs here, which have led to a large stock of used batteries. China further expects to transition half its entire transportation system to EVs by 2025, which will further lead to a high availability of second-life EV batteries for other purposes. During the forecast period, Europe will experience the fastest industry growth due to the rising adoption of electric mobility.
Hence, with the growth of the EV and renewable energy industries, the scope for the usage of second-life EV lithium-ion batteries will keep widening.