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In 2019, most plug-in electric vehicles were powered by lithium-ion batteries. The cells in a lithium-ion battery are more complex than the lead-acid cells of a conventional vehicle’s battery, and they are composed of different materials. The exact chemistry of automotive lithium-ion batteries can vary by manufacturer. The Department of Energy has recently launched the ReCell Advanced Battery Recycling Center to further research on recycling technologies for current lithium-ion batteries and future battery chemistries.

Pie charts of cell composition of lead acid and lithium-ion batteries.

Source: Presentation by Argonne National Laboratory researcher Linda Gaines at the 2020 Transportation Research Board 99th Annual Meeting, January 12–16, 2020.

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