"If a policy of some kind was adopted for second use then you would have an incentive for the designers of the batteries to consider second-life alternatives in their manufacturing of the original battery," Deutch said.
Emergen Research predicts the global battery market to reach $24.57 billion by 2027, up from $16.19 billion in 2019.
In February, Canada's Li-Cycle, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, announced it would be listed on the NYSE via a SPAC transaction, valued at $1.67 billion. Li-Cycle is able to recover more than 90% of the most valuable elements from lithium-ion batteries, such as cobalt, nickel, lithium, and copper.
"The use of lithium-ion batteries is obviously growing exponentially for electric vehicles, but it's also growing for other applications, be they mobile devices, home power, tools, etc.," said Brian Menell, CEO of TechMet, an investor in Li-Cycle. "Lithium-ion batteries are an environmental problem… No. 2, there's a lot of residual value still in these batteries."
Battery recycling also lessens the dependence on China, which controls much of the pipeline of raw materials. In June, the U.S. Dept. of Energy released a "National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries" that sets goals of establishing a secure pipeline for raw materials, domestic manufacturing, and enables recycling at scale.