The European Union (EU) is committed to the Green Deal aiming to achieve carbone neutrality by 2050. This objective supposes the decarbonation of priority sectors emitting the most greenhouse gases (GHG), starting with transport. The electric vehicle (or EV) offers an alternative to the use of carbon-intensive fossil fuels and looks to be a sustainable solution for climate, particularly in France, where 90% of the electricity generation is decarbonized.
In France, about 40% of cars would be electric (either all-electric “BEV” or plug-in hybrid “PHEV”) by 2030. Worldwide, the number of electric vehicles on the road is expected to reach 100 million, from 10 million today. This surge in the volume of electric vehicles will generate strong growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries, the main technology used to replace today's internal combustion engine. Therefore, battery production capacity in Europe should be 500GWh by 2028, or even 1TWh by 2030 (compared to a few GWh today). These batteries contain many strategic and expensive metals necessary for their operation.
In anticipation of the end of life of these batteries, it is crucial that a viable recycling industry emerge in order to recover these high value metals, a resource controlled largely by Asian players, and lacking in Europe in regard to the high demand expected in the upcoming years. Efficient recycling processes will help "close the loop" so that materials from used batteries can be reused in new batteries, while creating sustainable jobs in France and Europe to strengthen the EU's strategic autonomy.