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The North America lithium-ion battery recycling market size was USD 66.34 million in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 77.85 million in 2021 to USD 265.08 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 19.1% in the 2021-2028 period. The regional impact of COVID-19 has been unmatched and staggering, with witnessing a negative demand across the region amid the pandemic. Based on our regional analysis, the regional market exhibited a slow growth of 11.8% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market's demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
The extraordinary development in battery recycling worldwide has led to the growth for the increase in recycling infrastructures for lithium-ion batteries. Revolution in consumer electronics and automobiles has led to a huge shift towards battery-powered devices and vehicles, making lithium-ion batteries part of an important development. The growing use of lithium-ion batteries coupled with the increasing amount of batteries reaching their end-of-life has led to a rise in demand for lithium-ion battery recycling.
Blockades in Supply Chains and Shipment Channels Has Harmed Market Growth amid COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on almost all the sectors. Various industries suffered huge loss due to the nationwide lockdowns to control the spread of COVID-19 virus. Accordingly, the Lithium-ion Battery Recycling sector also suffered a considerable loss. As the market is massively dependent on the automobile and consumer electronics industry, the effect on these industries impacted the investment in the market.
The disruptions in supply chains and shipment transport channels affected the transport of used lithium-ion batteries to recycling facilities in other regions. This directly impacted the supply of used batteries to companies for recycling, which significantly impacted their operations.
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Determination to Boost Commercialization of Recycling Process Technology is a Vital Trend
This industry has witnessed noteworthy development approaches by various industry players to augment their recycling capacities to push the marketplace. The establishment of new facilities is expected to greatly boost the industrialization rate. It is likely to generate high demand for new technology in the upcoming years.
For instance, Li-Cycle announced the inaugurated a new recycling plant, in December 2020, in Rochester, New York. The facility has a processing capacity of 10000 tons a year. It uses a hydrometallurgical recycling process and a wet chemistry method to give a 95% recycling rate. In April 2021, Li-Cycle Corp. announced building another recycling plant for electric car batteries in Gilbert, Arizona. It is the company's second facility in the U.S. and third overall. It will be able to process up to 10,000 tons of spent batteries per year.
Strict Regulations to Forbid the Dumping of Unprocessed Waste to Aid Growth
All electronic wastes generate a lot of toxic wastes filling landfills. Lithium-ion batteries are categorized as hazardous electronic wastes as there have been fires in the absence of proper disposal. Also, electronic wastes generally tend to fill up empty lands and are seen as a huge problem today. Thus, the governments have passed certain norms to process chemical and electronic wastes before their disposal to combat the issue. This is expected to drive the North America lithium-ion battery recycling market growth in the upcoming years.
For instance, according to the Ontario Regulation 30/20, every manufacturer under section 12 is warranted to develop and operate a system for managing batteries in a performance period and is expected to implement a promotion and education program to raise public awareness of the producer's efforts to collect, reduce, reuse, recycle and recover batteries and to encourage public participation in those efforts.
Government Regulations to Propel Utilization of Cleaner Power Sources and Unlock New Potentials
A growing predisposition towards the disposition of cleaner energy sources to provide energy for different applications is likely to hasten the market growth. The regional trend suggests a surge in the installation of lithium-ion batteries for significant energy storage and electric vehicles (EVs). The increasing placement of these batteries for various applications is anticipated to drive the replacement of old batteries with low productivities, hence, creating wastes for recycling opportunities.
According to the NREL report on Grid-Scale Battery Storage, the 2020 market for grid-scale battery storage in the U.S. is controlled by lithium-ion chemistries. Due to technological innovations and improved manufacturing capacity, lithium-ion chemistries have experienced a steep price decline of over 70% from 2010-2016, and prices are projected to decline further (Curry 2017).
As per the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. utility-scale battery storage capacity installed in 2017 was 240 MWh, which generated power of 120 MW, out of which lithium-ion batteries power over 90%. The rising utilization of lithium-ion batteries in grid-scale battery storage is growing their need to be replaced and recycled, stimulating the growth of the lithium-ion battery recycling market in the region.
Increasing Acceptance of Lithium-ion Battery EVs to Bolster Growth
Countries have witnessed a pattern shift towards electric vehicles to decrease the carbon output, supporting the industry stride. The increasing utilization of various electric vehicles over the years has caused large quantities of batteries progressing to their end-of-life(EOL). According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. car market declined 23% in 2020, but E.V. registrations did not fall as much as the overall market.
In 2020, 295000 new E.V.s were registered, of which about 78% were BEVs. Their sales share increased by 2%. Government incentives are reduced in 2020 due to the tax credits for Tesla and General Motors reaching their limit. The new car market reduced to 21% in Canada, however the new electric car registrations remained almost unchanged as compared to the previous year record of 51000. Canada is the 8th largest E.V. market, with over 40,000 sales in 2018. With the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, there is an increase in lithium-ion batteries reaching their end-of-life and eligible for recycling.
The growing environmental conscience among businesses and consumers coupled with the high adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S. and Canada can be considered a strong driver for this market.
High Capital Investments and Absence of Strict Policies is a Major Restraining Factor
The building of new infrastructure requires high initial spending and devoted supply and collection chains, restraining the lithium-ion battery recycling market. Moreover, the lack of an appropriate regulatory framework in countries to recycle battery materials may hinder industrial growth. E-waste recycling in the U.S. is regulated at the state level, with only half of the states having e-waste recycling laws. That leads to companies' difficulty navigating the patchwork of regulations if they want to make their products easier to recycle.
Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO) Segment to Hold Maximum Share Owing to High Returns on Recycling
Depending on the battery chemistry, the North American market is segmented into Lithium Cobalt Oxide, Lithium Iron Phosphate, Lithium Manganese Oxide, Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide, and Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide.
The Lithium Cobalt Oxide segment holds the largest share due to LCO lithium-ion batteries' high utilization in electronics. The increasing utilization of electronics and its quick disposal has led to large amounts of electronic waste.
Lithium-ion batteries, being the major power source, contribute massively to this e-waste. Due to a 17% cobalt content, Lithium Cobalt Oxide batteries are also the most profitable to recycle. Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries use phosphate as a cathode. They have low resistance properties, which make them safe and thermally stable. They are used in applications that need a long lifecycle and significant safety, like electric motorbikes. Lithium Manganese Oxide batteries have high-temperature stability and are safer than other lithium-ion battery chemistries. Hence, they are used in medical equipment and devices, power tools, electric bikes, etc.
Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide batteries are used in electric powertrains and grid storage.
They have the potential for the automotive industry owing to their high-energy option with a good lifespan. Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide batteries have either a high specific energy density or a high specific power, not both. They are used in power tools and powertrains for vehicles. All these battery chemistries, when recycled, give different chemicals. Accordingly, the cost of recycling and their values differ.
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Rising Use of Electronics Will Boost the Segment's Growth
Based on the source, the market is segmented into electronics, power tools, electric vehicles, and others.
The maximum share of the lithium-ion batteries that come for recycling derives from the electronics segment. With the growing utilization of portable battery-powered consumer electronics by end consumers, the amount of used batteries is mounting, which leads to a high market share of the electronics segment.
Power Tools segment refers to the End-Of-Life Lithium-ion batteries from Power Tools that are recycled by various processes. Generally, LMO and NMC batteries form this market segment. The electric vehicles segment refers to the End-Of-Life Lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles recycled by various processes. Generally, LFP, LMO, NMC, and NCA batteries form this market segment.
Electric vehicles are one of the fastest-growing segments due to the increasing demand for electric vehicles coupled with the investments by E.V. manufacturers in battery recycling. The other segment refers to the End-Of-Life Lithium-ion batteries from other sectors like Industrial Automation, UPS/ Data Centers, Telecom, etc., recycled by various processes.
Hydrometallurgical Segment to Maintain a Higher Share due to High Extraction Rate
Based on the recycling process, the North American market is divided into Mechanical/Physical, Hydrometallurgical, and Pyrometallurgical segments.
The hydrometallurgical segment, which involves recycling spent lithium-ion batteries via pretreatment, leaching, and separation of valuable metals, holds the largest share in the market due to the high extraction rate, which reaches up to 95%. Companies in the region are, hence, increasing investing in hydrometallurgical recycling infrastructures.
The mechanical/physical recycling process refers to the battery pack being dismantled into a battery module and the battery module being dismantled into a single cell. Every component of the cell is separated.
The pyrometallurgical recycling process uses high-temperature smelting procedures to recover cobalt and nickel as alloys.
The market has been studied across North America, in the U.S., and Canada. The U.S. dominates the North American market due to the massive investments by companies to set up new recycling infrastructures. Technological advancement has helped enhance the extraction rate of valuable materials. The country majorly invests in hydrometallurgical recycling facilities in various regions of the U.S.
In Canada, the incorporation of a majority of companies has taken place in the last few years. This, along with the improvement of shipment chains and collection routes of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, has led to tremendous growth in the country. Additionally, research and development projects are being carried out in the U.S. and Canada by various companies and institutions to improve the extraction rate by a cost-effective method.
Li-Cycle Corp, Retriev Technologies, and American Zinc Recycling to Lead with Investments in Recycling Infrastructure
The region has very few industry players. Most of them have developed viable recycling processes for lithium-ion batteries. Maximum part of the recycling processes is being researched and developed to increase the extraction rate at lower costs. It can be considered that Li-Cycle Corp, Retriev Technologies, and American Zinc Recycling are the prominent Lithium-ion Battery Recycling companies and are investing in setting up new recycling plants throughout the region.
An Infographic Representation of North America Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market
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The research report on the North America lithium-ion battery recycling market highlights North America to offer a better understanding of the user. Also, the market research report provides key insights into the latest industry developments and scrutinizes technologies that are being adopted at a rapid pace across North America. It further highlights some of the growth-stimulating factors and restraints, helping the reader gain in-depth knowledge about the industry.
Value (USD Million) and Volume (Tonnes)
By Chemistry; By Source; By Recycling Process; and By Region
By Recycling Process
Fortune Business Insights says that the North American market size was USD 66.34 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 265.08 million by 2028.
The market will likely grow at a CAGR of 19.1% over the forecast period (2021-2028).
The lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) segment is anticipated to dominate this market during the forecast period.
The rising government regulations to propel cleaner sources of energy is the key factor driving the market.
Li Cycle Corp, Retriev Technologies, and American Zinc Recycling are key participants in this market.
The U.S. dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
With the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, there is an increase in lithium-ion batteries reaching their end-of-life and eligible for recycling. The growing environmental conscience among businesses and consumers, coupled with the high adoption of electric vehicles, is augmenting this market.
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