In the latest installment of Tesla Motor's Mythbusters, the erstwhile EV maker's Director of Energy Storage Technologies says that Tesla's lithium-ion batteries are eco-friendly. That's because they're "manufactured in Japan, a country with very strict environmental laws." Kelty then lists all the nasty stuff their battery pack doesn't contain (leaving out dead kittens and powdered rhinoceros horn). In short, Tesla's Li-ion cells contain no toxic materials and "by law, could be disposed of by putting them in a landfill." Before that, Kelty recommends using the efficiency-challenged batteries "as a power source for off-grid backup or load leveling." Once the cells die, they'll be shipped off to Toxco's recycling plant in British Columbia. The copper cobalt will be sold for recovery, the slurry "sent off as non hazardous effluent for proper disposal" and the "fluff" (mostly plastic) "trucked back to the U.S. border and properly disposed" (in landfills). Kelty proudly points out that Tesla's disposal process "does not involve any smelters." He doesn't say how much smelting is needed to produce the battery pack but hey, we appreciate the info.
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