Sustainability has many facets - also in the field of battery storage. In many cases, critical raw materials (e.g. cobalt) are used that are extracted under unacceptable conditions and whose availability is not guaranteed in the long term. The lynchpin of battery sustainability, however, is battery ageing. Today's lithium-ion batteries reach the end of their useful life after a few thousand charging cycles at the latest. The old battery has to be replaced by a new one, which in turn has to be produced at a considerable cost in terms of energy and resources.
However, the importance of battery ageing for sustainability goes beyond the obvious. How quickly batteries age depends to a large extent on the charging speed: slow charging protects the battery, while fast charging drives its ageing. However, since fast charging is also crucial for user comfort, in practice people try to solve the dilemma by oversizing the battery. After all, fast charging that is easy on the battery is certainly possible - but only within a narrow corridor of charge levels. If the battery is enlarged, the capacity of the charge level corridor also increases, which can then be charged quickly and comfortably.
This relationship can be called the sustainability trap of battery ageing: Battery ageing is the root not only of short life, but also of the oversizing of conventional batteries, as can currently be observed in the field of electromobility. It decisively determines how much battery is actually needed per application.
The linchpin of battery sustainability is battery ageing. After a few thousand charging cycles at the latest, a conventional battery must be replaced by a new one, the production of which in turn consumes energy and resources.
Battery ageing is not only the root of short life, but also of the oversizing of conventional batteries, which are thus - at least partially - made capable of fast charging.