Japanese media said that the re-use of used batteries from BYD, a large Chinese electric vehicle (EV) company, is expanding worldwide. Companies such as ITOCHU purchase batteries recycled by BYD and transform them into large storage batteries or sell them to factories in Europe, America, and Asia in 2021. China’s EV sales account for 50% of the world’s total and the number of used batteries will increase sharply in the future. The influence of Chinese-made used batteries in the world’s recycling market will increase day by day.
According to a report by the Nikkei on December 25, BYD first recycled batteries for BYD buses and taxis from car dealerships across China, and then provided the recycled batteries to Pland Energy Storage Technology Co., Ltd. In Shenzhen. ITOCHU purchases battery products that have undergone functional inspections and then transforms them into large storage batteries for sales.
It was reported that ITOCHU has developed a battery made by connecting about 160 BYD car batteries. The total capacity can be used by 100 families for one day. The price is more than 20% to 30% cheaper than that of new industrial batteries.
ITOCHU planed to first use recycled batteries as auxiliary power sources for domestic factories in Japan and start operation trials in April 2021. After confirming battery degradation speed and other performances, it will be officially produced in 2021. Its sales will prioritize Australia and Southeast Asia and then expand to Europe, America and Japan.
The life of vehicle batteries is generally 5 to 8 years. Due to various factors such as safety, it is usually stipulated that the battery must be replaced when the capacity drops to about 80% of the new one. But if it is used for other purposes such as batteries, it can also be fully utilized.
As an environmental protection countermeasure, China took the lead in implementing the policy of promoting EVs. Starting in the mid-2010s, EVs have spread rapidly. The China Association of Automobile Industry estimated that the capacity of waste car batteries produced in China will reach 42 million kilowatt-hours in 2025, which is 12 times that of 2020, equivalent to the electricity consumption of about 5 million households a day. By 2025, the capacity of used car batteries in China will be about 7 times that of Europe and 42 times that of Japan, and about 30% of them will be made by BYD.
It was believed that low-cost large-scale storage batteries manufactured by reusing on-board batteries are the key to popularizing renewable energy such as solar and wind power. In the future, the presence of Chinese used batteries in the world market will increase.
On the other hand, the trend of recycling worldwide is also increasing. In addition to the efforts of Toyota and others, Renault of France has also jointly established a company responsible for the recycling business with Mitsui & Co. Sales of EVs in Europe and other regions have surged so used batteries will also increase. If the battery sales competition is fierce, it will also lead to the survival of the fittest.
As more and more companies participate in the recycling business, a battle for used batteries will erupt.