By on March 13, 2008

fluff.jpgIn 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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10 Comments on “Tesla Birth Watch 38: PR Assault on Battery Recyling...”

  • avatar

    I wonder how much resources it takes to recycle these batteries from hybrid cars? Are we really saving the planet or just adding to the carbon load? Sounds like the same discussion about E85 and the carbon load.

  • avatar

    “In short, Tesla’s Li-ion cells contain no toxic materials…” and taste great with red wine and a dash of A-1 Sauce.

  • avatar

    Wonder how hight fuel prices will have to go before we quit all of this shipping stuff back and forth across the globe during it’s manufacturering processes?

    As for the energy required to manufacture or recycle the batteries at various factories – that can be offset with solar and wind and all sorts of black magic if the company wants to. Tough to offset all of the transport truck pollution though.

    Of course I’m not going to hold Tesla to a higher standard than I hold GM or Ford or any other car makers which are not doing any green stuff and are at the same time building products which pollute their entire useful existences. The traditional car makers are transporting parts all around the world too.

    I WANT an electric car but I think I’ll have to build my own before I’ll ever be able to buy one commercially at a reasonable cost.

  • avatar

    Nothing more eco-friendly than dumping massive amounts of plasic into landfills.

    What’s this “slurry” amount to, and where will it be “sent off” to?

  • avatar

    L47_V8 :

    What’s this “slurry” amount to, and where will it be “sent off” to?

    All the site says about the slurry is:

    The slurry is processed into a cobalt filter cake. This cake is then reused in appliance coatings.

    Soda ash is added to resulting process solution and precipitates out as lithium carbonate liquid is bled off after lithium salt recovery, and is sent off as non hazardous effluent for proper disposal.

  • avatar

    So, um, its March and production was set to begin in March. Has production begun?

  • avatar


    March 17th is the magic day! Of course, that’s still not the delivery date. That’s just the day they say they’ll start production.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Tony-e30: I prefer mine with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

  • avatar

    March 18th is the day Telsa holds its first”oh s**t” production meeting, and realizes someone overlooked something real big, or something doesnt fit. March 19th the assembly line stops. March 19th at 4 pm Tesla issues a press release(requesting TTAC be left out of the loop) announcing production hit a snag and will resume in August…and the beat goes on.

  • avatar

    Someone at TTAC should start a birth watch on the aptera.
    It’s gotten some publicity on yahoo news.
    They are promising over 200mpg, carbon composite body, all electric or hybrid powertrain, 85 mph and under $30K.

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