The Circular Economy redefines our use of natural resources and gets rid of the idea of waste. It goes from our current linear model of “take-make-waste” to a circular model designed for “make-use-return”.
EVs have some inherent circular benefits, like producing no exhaust “waste”, and there are many more opportunities if manufacturers chose to design vehicles this way. Imagine an EV in the future which is built from all reused or remanufactured parts or recycled materials. The electricity used for the battery and vehicle manufacturing as well as driving the EV comes from renewable sources. In return, EV’s smart charging and vehicle-to-grid capability balances the renewables intermittency. EV’s are designed to maximise usage and are part of car sharing pools doing 1 million miles during their lifetime (10x more than current vehicles). At the end of their lifetime, EVs go back to the leasing company who sell the battery for stationary storage to help resilience in the grid and the other components are sold to a re-use, remanufacturing and recycling company who sells the reusable components and recycled materials to an EV manufacturer. Once the battery has finished life as stationary storage, the materials are recycled. The circle starts again.