Solutions for Electric Vehicle Batteries at End-of-Life
Remanufacturing can lead to a 25% reduction in demand for new batteries
San José, Calif., September 12, 2016 – Growth in vehicle electrification has increased the use
of lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, and raised the issue of what to do with post-vehicleapplication batteries. New research recently released by the Mineta National Transit Research
Consortium identifies methods to improve the post-vehicle-application use of electric vehicle
batteries. The report, Advances in Repurposing and Recycling of Post-Vehicle-Application
Lithium-Ion Batteries, conducted by researchers Charles R. Standridge, PhD, Lindsay Corneal,
PhD, and Nicholas Baine, PhD identify three possibilities: 1) remanufacturing for intended reuse
in vehicles; 2) repurposing for non-vehicle, stationary storage applications; and 3) recycling,
extracting the precious metals, chemicals and other byproducts.
This research presents a comprehensive mathematical model to assess remanufacturing,
repurposing, and recycling production capacity, as well as new battery production capacity,
given any forecast of the number of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles through
the year 2030. Results from the model provide needed capacity for the percent of post-vehicleapplication batteries that are remanufactured. According to Dr. Standridge, “a full commitment
to post-vehicle-application battery remanufacturing will lead to a 25% reduction in demand for
new batteries. This is a great achievement keeping in mind the environmental impact of the
manufacturing process for new batteries.”
The research team also conducted a demonstration project with Hastings Township, MI to
showcase advances in lithium-ion battery repurposing. A prototype energy storage and
management system was constructed to support a mobile, off-grid battery recycling system.
Another focus concerned the challenges associated with recycling lithium-ion batteries from
different manufacturers where the active materials vary in composition. The researchers used
acid baths to successfully separate out the active material coatings from batteries of varying
chemistries from three different manufacturers. Tests prove that complete separation of active
material is possible through this process at relatively low temperatures, low acid concentrations,
and in a short time frame which should improve and reduce the overall cost of recycling in the
The full report can be downloaded at no charge from the Mineta Transportation Institute web
Dr. Charles R. Standridge is the Associate Dean of the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of
Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University, in Grand Rapids, MI.
Dr. Lindsay Corneal and Dr. Nicholas Baine are assistant professors in the School of
Engineering at Grand Valley State University.
The Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC) is composed of nine university
transportation centers led by the Mineta Transportation Institute at San José State University.
The Consortium was organized in January 2012 after winning a competition sponsored by the
US Department of Transportation (DOT) to create consortia tasked with “Delivering Solutions
that Improve Public Transportation.” Member universities include Bowling Green State
University, Grand Valley State University, Howard University, Penn State, Rutgers University,
San José State University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and
University of Toledo. Visit
The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University conducts independent,
internationally recognized research and technology transfer in surface transportation policy and
practice, along with transportation education and workforce development. Our mission is to
increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of
our nation’s transportation system. The Institute is funded through the US Department of
Transportation, the US Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of
Transportation, and public and private grants. Visit
Hilary Nixon, Ph.D.
MTI Director of Research and Technology Transfer