The electric vehicle (EV) industry is growing at a rapid pace, with a global market share projected to be, depending on who you ask, between 7 and 30 percent by 2030.
As EV adoption continues to increase, the remanufacturing industry — which honed its skills on internal combustion engine vehicles — is well positioned to reap the benefits.
Remanufacturing is becoming an increasingly attractive option for the EV industry due to its ability to extend the life of electric vehicle components, reduce waste and cut down on carbon emissions. The process of remanufacturing electric vehicle parts aligns nicely with the environmentally-friendly aspirations of EVs, as they are known to reduce carbon emissions, while also promoting sustainability by reusing components and minimizing waste.
According to a recent report by the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA), the global remanufacturing industry is set to double by 2030, with the EV industry being a key driver of this growth. The report identifies four major areas where the remanufacturing industry can make an impact in the EV sector: battery remanufacturing, motor remanufacturing, electronic component remanufacturing and charger remanufacturing.
- Battery remanufacturing. This is one of the most promising areas for the remanufacturing industry within the EV sector. Batteries are a crucial component of an electric vehicle and are also one of the most expensive. By remanufacturing used batteries, the industry can save on the costs of producing new ones and reduce waste. It also allows for the recovery of valuable materials such as lithium and cobalt, which can be reused in the manufacturing of new batteries. Battery cells also can be replaced on a vehicle to restore it or if that is not an option, a battery can be used for a completely different purpose, such as home energy storage.
- Motor remanufacturing. The remanufacturing industry already has ample experience in this area and can make a significant impact with drive motors. Electric motors are a critical component of EVs and can be expensive to replace. By remanufacturing used motors, the industry can reduce costs and extend the life of these components, which will ultimately reduce the environmental impact of producing new motors.
- Electronic component remanufacturing. The sophisticated electronics in electric vehicles can be difficult to replace, and remanufacturing them can be a more cost-effective and sustainable option than producing new ones. Additionally, remanufacturing can also help to ensure that outdated electronics are replaced with newer, more efficient components, which can help to improve the performance of EVs. The issue came up in the recent Rematec Amsterdam webinar, “Eyes on the U.S.: The evolving landscape of remanufacturing in the U.S.” Panelist Jeffrey Stukenborg, Head of Product Engineering Reman for ZF Group andChair of the Remanufacturing Industries Council, said, "I think reman is the way to extend the life of electronics. We saw the issue with chips availability. I think all electronics should be remanufactured. I think if you're trying to keep a product out there for 15 to 25 years after the OE production — building new is not the solution."
- Charger remanufacturing is the fourth area where the remanufacturing industry can make an impact within the EV sector. Chargers are a critical component of an EV charging infrastructure, and by remanufacturing them, the industry can reduce the costs of producing new ones and extend the life of these components.
The opportunities for the remanufacturing industry within the EV sector are vast, and as the industry continues to grow, it is expected that demand for remanufactured components will also increase. Remanufacturing not only provides cost savings and reduces waste, but it also has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by extending the life of electric vehicle components.