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Today’s Pickup: Waste mountains of EV batteries a possibility with current mediocre recycling systems

Good day,

A study led by the University of Birmingham to review the existing recycling measures for lithium-ion batteries has revealed that if governments do quickly build out a robust recycling infrastructure for electric batteries, the world will be looking at massive ‘waste mountains’ made of decommissioned batteries.

The research estimates that the one million electric vehicles sold in 2017 will alone contribute to 250,000 tonnes of unprocessed pack waste when the cars are taken apart after expiry. As consumer interest picks up in the electric vehicle segment, it is vital for governments to take notice, as their waste disposal departments will have to contend with exponentially growing battery waste as we move further into the future. 

Did you know?

The productivity of American workers fell in the third quarter for the first time in almost four years, with it declining at a 0.3% annual rate from July to September this year. 


“The long-run trend in most advanced economies is a slowdown of productivity growth, but what makes it more serious in Germany is that we also have rapid demographic change that is more acute than elsewhere eventually leading to a shrinking workforce.”

– Isabel Schnabel, member of the Council of Economic Experts, while commenting on their slash in growth forecast for Germany. 

In other news

U.S. collected a record $7 billion in tariffs in September

Tariff revenue jumped 9% from August and was up more than 59% from a year earlier. (WSJ)

Chinese automakers shift export focus to Europe from U.S.

The prolonged trade dispute between Beijing and the Trump administration has pushed them to focus more on western Europe of late instead of the U.S. (Autonews)

Tesla’s China factory will make or break Elon Musk’s vision

Elon Musk said he’s never seen a factory built so quickly, and now he’s about find out if it’s up to the task. (Bloomberg)

Amazon is planning a $40 million robotics hub near Boston

Amazon announced a plan today to build a $40 million, 350,000-square-foot robotics innovation hub in Westborough, Massachusetts. (TechCrunch)

IBM ethical mineral sourcing blockchain to debut in spring

Ford, Volkswagen, LG and Volvo plan to take a pilot project tracking cobalt during its refining process live in production next year. (CoinDesk)

Final Thoughts

As the countries belonging to the OPEC cartel continue to look at reducing oil production to decrease global oversupply, oil drilling in countries that are not part of OPEC – like Brazil and the U.S. – has been increasing steadily. Brazil, which is the second largest producer of oil outside of the OPEC countries, has announced that it will look to produce as many as 7 million barrels of oil per day (mbpd), a number that is more than twice its current production capacity that stands at 3 mbpd. However, the country has not yet specified the exact timeline behind this scale of increase. 

Hammer down everyone!