BYD’s brand communication manager Mia Gu confirmed the company’s plans to Reuters, but said a start date has not been fixed yet and did not provide details about the capacity of the plant or the amount of investment involved.
Demand for lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to increase in the coming decades. As a result, the need for key components, such as lithium and cobalt, is also expected to soar.
In fact, the move comes at a time when lithium prices have been surging and cobalt has almost doubled its cost from a year ago. But for Gu, the most important factor driving the decision is environmental protection.
According to Reuters, the first batch of electric car battery waste will hit the market this year. Furthermore, total battery waste is forecast to reach 120,000 to 170,000 tonnes per year by 2020.
“As a leading EV maker, you have a social responsibility to recycle the battery,” Gu said.
BYD’s battery recycling plant comes as no surprise since China, the leader in the electric car space, continues to implement measures to fight pollution. In February, the government issued new rules making car manufacturers responsible for setting up facilities to recycle used batteries.