TRENTON, N.J. – When an electric vehicle’s battery no longer effectively charges the car, sustainable benefits come to a screeching stop. In order to prevent thousands of toxic batteries from ending up in landfills, Assemblyman Ron Dancer introduced a measure to create a task force to study safer and environmentally sound recycling practices for electric vehicle batteries.
“Global electric vehicle sales have increased by more than 100% over the last year, and while that is good news for the fight for cleaner energy, it presents other environmental challenges. The lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries contain toxic chemicals, which not only pollute the Earth, but could potentially explode if mishandled,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “New Jersey needs to get ahead of this issue so that we can maximize the efficiency and longevity of electric vehicle batteries in a greener and safer way.”
The 11-member task force created under Dancer’s bill (A3492) would be established in the state Department of Environmental Protection. Members would produce a report with recommendations to the governor and Legislature in two years.
“The majority of the raw materials it takes to produce advanced batteries comes from China, a country with widespread and well-documented human rights violations and other horrendous actions. By repurposing or recycling the batteries, we could reintroduce critical materials back into the supply chain and reduce our reliance on communist China,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “I want to make New Jersey a national leader in developing best practices for disposing, storing and recycling used electric vehicle batteries.”
According to the DEP, there were 64,307 electric vehicles registered in New Jersey at the end of December – an increase of nearly 64,000 in the past decade. Gov. Phil Murphy has set a goal of registering 330,000 electric vehicles in New Jersey by 2025.