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U.S. Battery Recycling Capacity To Triple In The Next Few Years

As the electric vehicle market expands and the first wave of modern EVs ages, the topic of lithium-ion battery recycling arises. Is the industry ready to handle old batteries to protect the environment and provide valuable materials for new batteries? Well, the situation appears to be under control right now. According to Argonne National Laboratory’s report Securing Materials for the U.S. Electric Vehicle Industry, from February 2024, as of 2023, the existing domestic battery recycling capacity in the U.S. is estimated at 35,000 tons. It’s always difficult to say the average EV battery weight, especially if we focus solely on the battery cells without the steel enclosure, auxiliary systems, and cables. Still, we cautiously guess that 35,000 tons might be the equivalent of 50,000-100,000 EV batteries (cells) annually. EV battery recycling Soon, EV lithium-ion batteries will be available for recycling at a scale unheard of, vastly exceeding the amount from consumer electronics. Depending on the exact battery chemistry, there might be precious elements for recovery, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, copper, and more. We are not yet at a point at which EVs would retire from the U.S. market at such a rate. By the way, some of the battery packs will also be used as stationary energy storage systems before considering recycling. Nonetheless, it’s great to see that the battery recycling industry already has a substantial capacity for batteries from various applications, as we understand. It’s just the beginning. According to the report, an additional 76,000 tons of planned capacity will be installed in the U.S. over the next two to four years. This means that the output will triple to some 111,000 tons per year. Such a volume will probably be enough for a six-digit number of EV battery packs (cells). The DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office also noted that the intermediate processing facilities—which “receive lithium-ion batteries and battery manufacturing scrap to process into materials that can be reintegrated into the battery supply chain”—reclaimed nearly 175,000 tons of materials in 2023. This segment is expected to expand by an additional 198,000 tons in the next few years to a total of close to 400,000 tons. Argonne National Laboratory revealed an interesting map showing the locations of existing and planned recycling material producers and intermediate processing facilities. The locations are similar to those of existing and planned lithium-ion battery factories. Recycling EV batteries is one of the most important things for the next decade, and it already started. It’s expected to be profitable because recycling valuable content from old batteries is usually easier than mining. Due to environmental issues, we also can’t afford to ditch old batteries without recycling. When EV materials are circulating from old to new batteries repeatedly, it must be a closed loop.

Future of Flexible Batteries: Key Insights and Market Growth

As traditional battery technologies reach their limitations in emerging applications, flexible batteries offer unique advantages with their ability to bend, stretch, and conform to various shapes. IDTechEx’s latest report, “Flexible Batteries Market 2025-2035: Technologies, Forecasts, and Players,” categorizes these batteries into two main groups: lower-capacity options like thin-film and micro-batteries and higher-capacity solutions such as advanced lithium-ion and bulk solid-state batteries. Despite their high cost, flexible batteries are carving out niches in industries like smart labels and wearables, where their distinct form factor provides critical benefits. The report projects significant growth in these markets, which are driven by innovations and increasing demand for specialized applications. Key findings are summarized here.Categories of flexible battery technologiesIDTechEx identifies advanced lithium-ion and bulk solid-state technologies as the less mature flexible battery technologies. According to IDTechEx, “Advanced lithium-ion in this case describes a battery structure that is similar in chemistry to traditional lithium-ion cells but with innovations that enhance flexibility, e.g., cell packaging or electrolyte.” The report notes that both liquid electrolyte batteries and semi-solid polymer electrolyte batteries can be included in this category. Bulk solid-state batteries, it explains, “describe a non-thin battery with a solid-state electrolyte, though it need not be 100% solid. Examples of solid-state electrolytes include ceramics and sulfides.”Related:New Military EV & Wearable Battery Ready to Be Called UpSmart labels and wearables requirements lead to the use of different flexible battery technologies. Source: IDTechEx.Advantages and challengesFlexible batteries offer significant advantages, as noted by IDTechEx: “A battery that can be rolled, stretched, and bent without losing functionality could prove a significant advantage in the right use case.” However, IDTechEx also highlights a major challenge: “Flexible batteries are competing with significantly cheaper traditional technologies such as coin cells.” The report compares costs, stating, “Coin cells can be less than US$0.50/Wh, while the cheapest flexible battery options are around US$3/Wh.”Low-capacity flexible batteries: Smart labelsOne primary niche for low-capacity flexible batteries is smart labels, according to IDTechEx. The report states, “Smart labels have become the primary niche for the first category of low-capacity batteries.” These thin batteries, it explains, “are integrated into labels, tags, and sensors used for quality control and logistics in industry settings.” IDTechEx highlights the market growth, projecting that “The flexible battery market for smart labels and RFID tags is valued at US$14.3 million in 2025 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 23.9% over the next decade.”Related:Flexible Battery Has 10 Times More Power than Current Lithium DesignsHigher-capacity flexible batteries: WearablesThe focus on higher-capacity flexible batteries is shifting toward wearables, according to IDTechEx. The report states, “Companies supplying the second category of higher-capacity batteries are increasingly focusing on wearables applications.” It notes the specific demands of wearables, stating, “Products worn on the body frequently require tailored form factors as they must be comfortable when worn.” IDTechEx observes that “Flexible batteries have begun to align with the demand for wearables,” noting advancements that “provide energy storage solutions that can meet energy density and lifetime requirements while still retaining a flexible form factor.”Advancements and market potentialIDTechEx underscores the progress in flexible battery technologies, noting that “Advanced lithium-ion and bulk solid-state flexible batteries have begun to move from the development stage into semi-commercialization.” The report emphasizes that suppliers are targeting opportunities in wearables, particularly for “wrist-worn wearables and electronic headwear.” However, IDTechEx cautions that “The high cost of flexible battery options cannot be justified for low-cost, mass-produced products.”Industry examples and market projectionsThe report cites LiBEST as an industry example, stating, “Since 2024, LiBEST has focused on advanced lithium-ion batteries for high-end XR headsets and hearables.” IDTechEx projects, “The total wearables market for flexible batteries (including skin patches) is valued at US$43.3 million in 2025 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 21.6% over the next decade.” Despite these growth projections, IDTechEx concludes that “The overall flexible battery market remains small, at just US$71.7 million in 2025, compared to a global lithium-ion battery market of over US$50 billion.”The comprehensive insights provided by IDTechEx’s report, “Flexible Batteries Market 2025-2035: Technologies, Forecasts, and Players,” highlight the opportunities and growth prospects for flexible battery technologies over the next decade. As advancements continue, flexible batteries are expected to unlock new applications and drive market growth in niche, high-end segments.To find out more about this report, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Flex.

Houston Homes Went Dark In Hurricane Beryl. EVs Powered Them Up.

Torrential rain began pounding William Perrella’s home in Houston last Sunday, waking him up in the middle of the night. Outside, he saw trees bending and twisting in the wind. Inside, the lights started flickering. He knew his home was about to go dark. But since Perrella, a digital forensics analyst, owns an electric Kia EV6, he was able to power critical appliances in his home. The refrigerator was hooked up to the car and so was his deep freezer, ensuring that food didn’t go bad when it was calamitous outside. It was a better situation than many Southeast Texans endured when Hurricane Beryl ripped through the region last week. EVs are giant power banks on wheels. An EV can not only swallow huge amounts of electrons at charging stations, but also dispense that energy to power external devices and in some cases, entire homes. This can be crucial during power outages, while camping or at construction sites.  Beryl was the latest storm to hammer the Texas Gulf Coast amid a summer of extreme weather, with at least 13 people dead and over 2 million residents without power for days amid scorching temperatures. But electric vehicle owners told InsideEVs that their cars helped them meet their basic needs and stay relatively comfortable.    Approximately 210,000 EVs were registered in Texas as of June, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center. The state ranks third behind California at 1.1 million EV registrations and Florida at 230,000 EV registrations. It also has some 3,300 public Level 2 and DC fast-charging stations with nearly 10,000 charging ports combined. With the widespread power outage in the aftermath of Beryl, many of these charging stations went dark. That included several Electrify America stations and Tesla Superchargers that were temporarily down. The Weather Channel reported that several gas stations were out of power too, as pumping gas also requires electricity. And the gas stations that did have power witnessed painfully long lines.   On the other hand, some EV owners said they charged their vehicles in advance to use them as backup generators for their homes.  “My EV6 was better than a gas generator for a number of reasons,” Perrella said. “It was running in the garage, with the door closed, there were no toxic fumes to inhale and the system was completely silent. I did not need to run out and get gas so we avoided those long lines.” Bidirectional Charging Saves The Day Bidirectional charging isn’t new to electric cars, but it hasn’t grabbed much attention yet. The feature allows owners to use their EV’s battery as a portable power bank to run external appliances and devices. This can be useful in situations like blackouts caused due to natural disasters, during camping, or at construction sites. Not all EVs are capable of bidirectional charging. To name a few, models that support it include the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ford F-150 Lightning and various General Motors EVs equipped with Ultium batteries. All of those can power external devices. Teslas, except for the Cybertruck, don’t offer this feature yet but are expected to in 2025. CEO Elon Musk announced the feature would be added realizing that owners were using it more often than previously estimated.   Currently, EVs commonly put out 120 volts and 15 amps, enough to power most home appliances such as an electric kettle, a coffee maker, a vacuum cleaner or even your laptop. This function is known as vehicle-to-load (V2L). More specific types of bidirectional charging include vehicle-to-home (V2H), vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V).  Getting basic V2L to work is pretty simple. All you have to do is plug the V2L adapter that comes with your EV (or can be purchased separately) into the charging port and connect the other end into extension cords or directly into the appliance.  And that ended up being a godsend for many storm-affected Texans recently. Less Juice Used Than You Think “Running only the critical appliances in the home, we could have made it more than a week before the battery in the car ran out of juice,” Perrella said. “I charged my car to 100% before the storm hit and after 24 hours, I had 91% remaining battery.” But power consumption may vary for different EV owners depending on energy losses and the individual appliances. [embedded content] Christian Reading, a senior IT manager at an oil and gas company in Katy, a small town west of Houston, is a big fan of electric cars. He said he especially loves those made by Hyundai and Kia. He was previously the owner of the original Hyundai Ioniq Electric and three Kona Electrics. Now he owns three Kia EV6s and a Tesla Model 3. He said the power outage lasted only three hours at his home. But during those three hours, life continued as normal. “Using several extension cords, I connected a fan, made breakfast with a griddle and a toaster and switched on the television to watch the news about the hurricane,” Reading said. In three hours, the Kia consumed about 1.5% of its charge with appliances like the refrigerator plugged in. With three EV6s in his garage fully charged, he had more than enough backup energy. However, Reading said his electric crossovers can’t power devices with higher consumption. “Our home air conditioning systems are very large and they pull a lot of current,” he said. “V2L is only enough for appliances, lights and fans but cannot supply 240 volts that larger systems require.” Hyundai Ioniq 5 Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) That’s true at the moment. The Hyundai Motor Group’s 800-volt Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) underpinning the Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6 and Kia’s EV6 has been engineered to support 240 volts of output, but a Wallbox charger allowing that isn’t available in the U.S. yet. That, however, changes with the Kia EV9. Kia has confirmed that the EV9 will offer V2L, V2H and V2G capabilities when a special charger becomes available. That said, the current Hyundai and Kia models output 3.6 kW and 16 amps, enough to trickle-charge another EV, power an e-bike and run most household appliances.   Electric trucks can take care of larger, power-hungry systems. The Ford F-150 Lightning and the Tesla Cybertruck can both output 240 volts and supply up to 9.6 kW. The Chevy Silverado EV, with its 200+ kWh battery pack can power an average home for up to 21 days. Cost Advantage If you have an EV that supports bidirectional charging, it doesn’t make sense to invest in gas generators, Reading said. The cost of generators depends on the size of the home, the number of rooms you wish to have backup power for and the number of appliances. According to some estimates, a whole-home generator typically costs between $5,000 and $25,000. Smaller, portable generators cost far less. On top of that, installation and maintenance costs can be thousands of dollars more, depending on where you live, local labor costs and the type of generator you’re installing. “You might use it once a year for one day, you have to buy a service contract, change the oil periodically, get it recertified and hope that it’ll work when you need it to,” Reading said. “It’s a whole host of things you have to take care of.” With an EV, you just need the V2L feature and some extension cords.   For a better V2H set-up, you need a transfer box, which according to Consumer Reports can cost between $500 and $1,500, including installation. That’s exactly what one Kia EV6 owner, who declined to offer his name but posted extensively about his experiences on Reddit, had installed in his home.  He had a transfer switch, a device that allows you to safely connect backup power sources, like a solar generator, to the home’s electrical system. He said both his EV6 and a solar generator are integrated into the transfer switch. With this combination, he was able to power his refrigerator, television, window air conditioner, lights and the internet. He added that battery was using roughly 10% of its charge daily and could have easily lasted a week, before it automatically cuts off V2L at 20% remaining range.  GM Energy V2H Bundle “[The Kia EV6] provides me with the capacity equivalent of five Powerwalls, that I also happen to drive daily,” he said, referring to Tesla’s stationary lithium-ion battery backup system for homes. Powerwalls, in their stock configuration, can store about 13.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy. The Kia EV6 has a 77.4 kWh battery. But even then, V2L and V2H are no magic bullets for solving the energy problem. At least not yet. Challenges, Still Obviously, making V2L work is quite easier for people who have dedicated driveways and garages. Barring the occasional extension cord running inside, apartment-dwellers may have a trickier time taking advantage of this technology.  And many EV owners still had the same issues as anyone else in Houston; again, public charging stations were often down due to the storm, and several owners said charging apps didn’t send them any advance alerts about potential power outages affecting chargers. Tesla Charging, Electrify America, and ChargePoint did not post any weather alerts on their social media channels either. (They posted service updates later.) In other words, V2L is most beneficial if your car is already charged up before disaster strikes. As always, advance planning is key in case of natural disasters.  So there’s a long way to go before energy distribution becomes seamless between your home and your EV. Even then, this is a glimpse into a future where EVs aren’t just sustainable modes of road transport. With the ability to power your homes and appliances, their capabilities extend way beyond that. Contact the author: suvrat.kothari@insideevs.com

This Is The Charging Adapter Nissan Leaf Owners Need Right Now

With all the talk of Tesla’s NACS charging connector taking over the EV industry in North America in the years to come, it’s easy to forget about CHAdeMO, the plug fitted to the Nissan Leaf, the car that was once the best-selling EV in the world. Other EVs that use the connector include the first-gen Kia Soul EV, the Mitsubishi i-MIEV and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Nissan has sold over 650,000 Leaf EVs globally since its debut in 2010 and at least 210,000 of those made their way to North America. These are not rookie numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but with fast-charging operators steering away from the aging CHAdeMO plug to focus on NACS and CCS1, it’s getting harder and harder for Leaf owners to plan long-distance road trips. But there might be a solution, albeit a rather pricy one. The world of EV adapters There are countless adapters for charging your EV, and that’s because there are multiple charging standards used across the industry. While the CCS and NACS protocols have seen plenty of love from accessory makers, the aging CHAdeMO system used on the Nissan Leaf isn’t so popular among aftermarket companies. But things are changing. Enter the A2Z CHAdeMO to CCS1 adapter that promises to make life much easier on the road for people who drive a CHAdeMO-equipped EV. It’s rated at 1,000 volts and 250 amps, which comes out to 250 kilowatts–much higher than the 62.5-kilowatt maximum DC fast charging rate the latest and greatest Nissan Leaf can accept. It’s also $999, which is a lot of money for an adapter and quite big size-wise. But it’s not the first and certainly not the last CHAdeMO to CCS adapter to come to market. We covered a similar device made by a Chinese company earlier this year, which costs about the same as A2Z’s solution, so if you’re in the market for something like this, be prepared to spend big money and have room in your trunk for it. The biggest difference between the A2Z adapter and other products on the market is that A2Z actually went through the trouble of testing it before putting it up for sale, as our own Tom Moloughny said in the unboxing video embedded above. That’s a big deal for customers because it offers some reassurance that the big and expensive piece of plastic between their car and the DC fast charger won’t become a fire hazard. Furthermore, A2Z bundles a USB cable and USB memory stick in the box, so if a user encounters problems with the adapter, they can contact the company to come up with a fix. Once it’s ready, the adapter’s software can be flashed via the included cable to make it work as promised. However, it’s worth noting that none of the car manufacturers who use the CHAdeMO connector on their EVs endorse the use of this–or any–adapter. It’s the same with the charging providers, who want people to know that the use of non-OEM adapters exempts them from any liability if something goes wrong. Nissan LEAF charging As opposed to the NACS and CCS systems, which use power line communication (PLC), the CHAdeMO standard uses the CANbus protocol, which is similar to the modules inside modern cars. This means that a CHAdeMO to CCS adapter needs to interpret the signals before allowing electricity to flow through. It’s also the reason why the adapter is so big compared to the NACS to CCS units (or vice versa). These caveats prompted CHAdeMO association representative Tomoko Blech to take a strong stand when talking about these sorts of adapters with InsideEVs at the beginning of the year. “While [the CHAdeMO association] understands that some people may be disappointed, we cannot guarantee that there is no risk of burns or electric shock, and we can only ask consumers to take responsibility if they still wish to use such a product,” Blech said. What’s your take on this? Would you spend $1,000 on a product that promises to make road trips more hassle-free, even if it’s not endorsed by the car manufacturer that built your EV? Let us know in the comments below.

Mercedes Brings EV Fast Charging To Starbucks

Starbucks and Mercedes-Benz are joining forces to ensure you can recharge your car while you recharge your caffeine levels. The tie-up and deals like it could help bring some much-needed convenience to the electric-vehicle charging experience.  Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging, the automaker’s charging outfit, plans to bring DC fast charging stalls to “over 100” Starbucks stores across the country, the two companies announced on Wednesday.  The first stage of the program will see Mercedes install 400-kilowatt chargers at some of the coffee chain’s locations along I-5, which runs from Canada to Mexico along the West Coast.  EV charging is getting better The quality and quantity of public charging stations have been persistent hurdles for widespread adoption. But infrastructure is improving, in part thanks to action from automakers and retail chains. “The collaboration between two leading brands like Mercedes-Benz and Starbucks will uplift the charging experience for all EV drivers,” said Andrew Cornelia, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging. Making public charging more palatable and widespread is paramount for an automotive industry that’s seeing uneven sales growth for electric models. Studies regularly show that access to charging and the amount of time it takes are some of consumers’ biggest hangups about going electric. Plus, lots of America’s charging stations are in weird places with few amenities, like the far corner of some random parking lot. It’s not uncommon to hit up a charging station without a nearby bathroom or food options. Bringing charging stations to places like Starbucks could make charging a whole lot more convenient in that regard. Mercedes-Benz Charging Hub at the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz USA in Sandy Springs, Georgia And that’s the way things are moving. Starbucks first announced plans to incorporate charging back in 2022. Convenience stores and travel stops like 7/11 and Love’s are making a push into EV fueling too. For these snack-and-drink purveyors, the incentive is clear. In exchange for providing a place to plug in, they get a captive customer that’s going to spend way longer on the premises than they would if they were just pumping gas.  The need for better charging—and more of it—is triggering action from EV manufacturers as well. Mercedes-Benz, for its part, plans to invest $1 billion in charging and has erected a dozen stations across the South since November. The German automaker also joined several of its rivals—BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Toyota and Stellantis—to form an EV charging supergroup called Ionna. That joint venture plans to open its first stations this year.  Both Ionna and Mercedes-Benz High-Powered Charging were formed with an eye on elevating the parts of the EV charging experience that aren’t up to par. For example, Mercedes’ chargers can dispense a whopping 400 kilowatts of power, which should yield quick charging stops. (That’s a level of power no U.S. EVs can even accept yet.) It’s building high-end charging lounges and bringing plugs to retail locations with amenities EV owners want, like Buc-ee’s stores.  Contact the author: tim.levin@insideevs.com

LG Energy Solution unveils AI model to revolutionize battery cell design

On July 14, LG Energy Solution announced a groundbreaking development in battery technology with the introduction of its “Optimal Cell Design AI Recommendation Model.” This innovative AI model can derive the optimal battery cell design in just one day, a significant improvement from the previous two-week design process. The new …

Southwest Airlines signs Memorandum of Understanding with Archer Aviation to develop operational concepts for Air Taxi Network

Southwest Airlines Co.  and Archer Aviation Inc.  have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop operational plans for electric air taxi networks utilizing Archer’s eVTOL aircraft at California airports where Southwest® operates. Archer Aviation is a leading manufacturer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Southwest is the Golden …

Joby Aviation makes landmark 523-mile hydrogen-electric flight

Joby Aviation has successfully flown a first-of-its-kind hydrogen-electric air taxi demonstrator 523 miles, with water as the only by-product. The aircraft, which takes off and lands vertically, builds on Joby’s successful battery-electric air taxi development program, and demonstrates the potential for hydrogen to unlock emissions-free, regional journeys that don’t require a runway. …

Ascend Elements battery recycling facility in Georgia Earns ISO 9001 Certification

DQS Inc., an independent certification body, recently certified Ascend Elements’ electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling facility in Covington, Ga. to the ISO 9001:2015 standard for Quality Management Systems. ISO 9001 is a globally recognized standard for quality management, helping organizations of all sizes and sectors improve performance, meet customer expectations and demonstrate a commitment …

Eramet inaugurates its direct lithium extraction plant in Argentina, becoming the first European company to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate at industrial scale

Christel Bories, Chair and CEO of Eramet, has inaugurated the Centenario Phase 1 lithium carbonate production plant in the presence of Gustavo Saenz, Governor of Salta Region, Diana Mondino, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Argentina, Luis Lucero, Mining Federal Secretary of the Republic of Argentina and Benjamin …