Shenzhen-headquartered battery materials producer GEM has established 16 recycling industrial parks in over 10 provinces in China. The company recycles about 5,000 tonnes per year of cobalt, and about 10,000 tpy of nickel. In 2019, GEM is expected to produce about 80,000 tonnes of battery precursor materials.
But it will take at least five to six years for NCM lithium-ion batteries installed now to enter the recycling cycle, according to Pan. “However, we also need to understand a good number of the electric vehicles produced nowadays are powered by LFP batteries.”
“Even for those which were produced with less refined techniques, it would still take about three to five years before they have to be recycled,” he added.
It was not until around 2015 that global adoption of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) lithium-ion batteries accelerated substantially, while lithium iron...