Quebec, Canada — EV Battery Recovery and Recycling
Contact the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Benoît Charette, the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Eric Girard, to share your support for Tesla’s proposal for EV battery recovery and recycling.
What you need to know:
With more electric vehicles (EVs) arriving on Quebec roads every year, it’s important that large lithium-ion batteries are recovered and recycled when they eventually reach the end of their service life. Ensure that there is an effective system in place to manage EV batteries will mean, among other things, that manufacturers of EV batteries can source recycled materials to make new batteries. One way of accomplishing this is for government to require producers to manage the collection and recycling of their products when they are no longer wanted. This is known as “extended producer responsibility”.
At Tesla, we know how important battery recycling is to the future of electrification. Electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and other large industrial batteries, contain highly sought-after metals like nickel and lithium. The recycling potential of these batteries is already attracting significant investment into battery reuse and recycling as the market begins to prepare for the first generation of end-of-life electric vehicles.
A strong and competitive market is developing to manage these valuable batteries when they are ready for reuse or recycling. However, Tesla also respects that policy makers need assurances that no unwanted end-of-life batteries will end up in landfill or will otherwise be left unrecycled. Tesla thinks there is a viable approach for extended producer responsibility that will maximize the useful life of batteries and minimize environmental impacts.
Quebec is proposing to regulate battery recycling using tools typically applied to light bulbs, and consumer electronics. At Tesla we think this is a flawed approach for EV batteries and that Quebec’s current proposal will not result in the best environmental outcome, nor will it result in a desirable outcome for EV owners.
EV batteries are very different from typical consumer batteries and they need a different management solution.
Quebec’s proposal if implemented, could mean that:
— Using the government’s own estimates, EV prices will rise 3%. This means an EV like the Model 3 Standard Range Plus would cost roughly $1,550 more in Quebec once the regulation comes into force. This higher cost will stifle EV adoption.
— The government wants to determine when your battery has reached end of life based on an “industry average” regardless of whether or not your battery and EV still meet your needs. Using a time-based formula that does not take into account battery chemistry, thermal management systems, vehicle use cases, or innovations in battery lifespan.
— To meet an arbitrary battery collection rate that does not take the above into consideration, automakers will seemingly be expected to remove and recover batteries from the market prematurely -- which would negatively impact consumers and the environment.
— Industry will be encouraged to deliver as few EVs as possible, that contain batteries with shorter-than-average lifespans and with less as this will reduce costs of compliance under Quebec’s proposed program.
Tesla supports producer responsibility -- so much so that we take the position that every battery a producer puts into Quebec should be recovered by that producer whenever the market does not result in a recycler or other party acquiring the battery to manage through its end-of-life or reuse cycle. This approach is best for the environment, best for EV drivers, best for innovative companies and industry leaders and is best for recyclers.
Fun fact: Did you know that Tesla has a laboratory in Canada dedicated to reducing cost and extending the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries? Learn more: NSERC/Tesla-Canada Industrial Research Chair in Long-Lived, High-Energy Density and Low-Cost Lithium-Ion Batteries for Automotive and Energy Storage Applications
Tell the Government of Quebec that you oppose its plan to prescribe a single EV battery management pathway through producers -- resulting in higher costs for consumers and negative environmental outcomes – and that you support an approach that would, instead, obligate producers to take-back end-of-life EV batteries upon request.
*What is Extended Producer Responsibility:
According to the OECD, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an “Environmental policy approach in which a producer's responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product's life cycle”. Tesla supports the core principle of EPR and Tesla's proposal fits this definition. Rather than making producers responsible for unwanted batteries, Quebec's proposal aims to manage what consumers can do with their privately-owned used batteries.