EV batteries are larger and heavier than those in regular cars and are made up of several hundred individual lithium-ion cells, all of which need dismantling. They contain hazardous materials, and have an inconvenient tendency to explode if disassembled incorrectly. Currently, globally, it’s very hard to get detailed figures for what percentage of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, but the value everyone quotes is about 5%. In 5 to 10 years when there are large numbers coming to the end of their life, it’s going to be very important that we have a recycling industry, EV batteries are larger and heavier than those in regular cars and are made up of several hundred individual lithium-ion cells, all of which need dismantling. They contain hazardous materials, and have an inconvenient tendency to explode if disassembled incorrectly. Recent proposals from the European Union would see EV suppliers responsible for making sure that their products aren’t simply dumped at the end of their life, and manufacturers are already starting to step up to the mark. Nissan, for example, is now reusing old batteries from its Leaf cars in the automated guided vehicles that deliver parts to workers in its factories. Volkswagen is doing the same, but has also recently opened its first recycling plant, in Salzgitter, Germany, and plans to recycle up to 3,600 battery systems per year during the pilot phase. You’ve got the waste management problem on the one hand, but then on the flip side of that you’ve also got a great opportunity because obviously the UK doesn’t have indigenous supplies of many factory materials. There’s a bit of lithium in Cornwall, but by and large we’ve got challenges in terms of sourcing the factory materials that we need. From a manufacturer’s point of view, therefore, recycling old batteries is the safest way to ensure a ready supply of new ones. We need to secure – as a manufacturer, as Europeans – the sourcing of these materials that are strategic for mobility and for the industry. The government needs to regulate very quickly otherwise we will see battery dumps like tyres and if fires occur the eco disaster will be huge.