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This is a really fascinating read on how the production of electric vehicle batteries impact the planet. Dean Sheed, the New Zealand boss of Audi spoke at an e-tron event about Audi making its electric battery production sustainable.

Here's the link for everyone - https://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/114630800/the-ethics-of-electric-vehicle-batteries

These are some of the more interesting parts that I pulled.

Sheed agrees the lithium-ion batteries crucial to all EVs carry baggage.

These are not dismissed by Audi, he says. The make is being proactive, with measures including being among companies that now publish sustainability data about their supply chains, which are carefully vetted.

Sheed says the subject is occasionally broached during his regular talks about EVs to industry and interest groups. He doesn't shy from sharing his thoughts.

"We have to be up front. There's no hiding away from what the components of a lithium ion battery are. The current state of play is that you have to mine it, you have to source it," he says.

"What we can do is put parameters around the methods – about how it is extracted, about the partners that chose for that and make sure they are doing what they say they are going to do.

"You have to make sure they are doing the right things, for instance about meeting global conventions about mining. It all boils down to the strength of the process and to governance of the mining itself.

"You cannot shy away from it. You have to front-foot it."
As for end of life disposal? Audi's major focus is moving the mentality away from the single life of the car and reminding that there's actually a second life [for a battery] after that.

A battery that has degenerated to, say, 70 per cent capacity might not be worthy of continued use in mobility yet could still have many years' life ahead as a stationary storage project, perhaps involved in recharging a future electric car.

Sheed says that process could easily ensure a battery could maintain usefulness for 20 years. Only after that would ultimate disposal, through recycling, be addressed.
 
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