Are electric cars safe for the environment?

Sandra from Fullerton, CA

Episode 1403 (50:10)

Tesla Model S

Sandra hears that the lithium ion batteries in Tesla cars aren't recyclable and that Tesla simply dumps them in the ocean. Leo says that isn't accurate. They are recycling, but they can be difficult to recycle because if they're exposed to the air, the inside of the batteries can catch on fire. They are recyclable and it takes about a decade or two before they will be replaced. By then, the recycling technology will have improved as well.

Image By Tesla_Model_S_Indoors.jpg: jurvetson (Steve Jurvetson)derivative work: Mariordo (Mario R. Duran Ortiz) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons