Sourcing Conflict-Free Minerals for EV Batteries | Kia UK
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Sourcing Conflict-Free Minerals for EV Batteries

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Sourcing Conflict-Free Minerals: Kia's Ongoing Efforts

One of the major advantages of electric cars is their zero-emission, planet-friendly driving experience. But this is only one part of the electric car life cycle. To deliver real, all-encompassing environmental value, we must also focus on the processes involved in EV manufacturing, production and end-of-life disposal.

At Kia, we do our best to ensure that we’re being as sustainable and ethical as possible in every step of our vehicles’ life spans. By implementing more sustainable practices throughout our operations and supply chain, such as conflict-free mineral sourcing and EV battery recycling, we aim to make your driving experience as green as possible.

In this article, you can learn more about our ongoing efforts to maximise sustainability in the full life cycle of Kia cars. You can also discover how, by going electric with Kia, you’re helping to build a greener, more sustainable future for driving.

Kia niro EV in white

What is mineral mining and why do we do it?

Mineral mining, often called mineral sourcing, is the process of mining the earth for useful natural minerals.

There are numerous natural minerals in lithium-ion batteries, which are used in most electric cars and Plug-In Hybrids. . This makes mineral mining a key process in EV battery production. Mineral sourcing for EV batteries includes mining for nickel, cobalt, lithium, along with other natural minerals, such as graphite, tin and tantalum.

When not managed and operated under an effective safety and sustainability policy, mineral mining can have serious implications. ‘Conflict minerals’ are those which are known to be mined unethically, either because they are sourced from conflict areas or contribute to the funding of armed or criminal groups. Tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold are all generally considered conflict minerals, raising ethical questions about their widespread inclusion in EV batteries.

However, by implementing sustainable and ethical policies, we can prevent human rights violations, environmental destruction and mining pollution.

Xceed PHEV

Trailblazing the way: Kia’s ongoing efforts for environmental value

At Kia, we are continuously working to maximise our sustainability throughout the entire life cycle of our cars. From their initial design to the manufacturing process and through to the responsible end-of-life disposal and recycling.

EV battery recycling and disposal is a nascent industry, and one that we’re actively contributing to. To ensure we play our part, we are establishing a comprehensive Waste Battery Circulation System, which promotes the re-purpose, re-manufacture and recycling of waste batteries. The system operates via four key stages:

1. Collection - Hyundai Glovis, part of the Hyundai Motor Group, is building a global network and transportation control system to systematically collect and transport used batteries that junkyards or dealers dispose of.

2. Repurpose - We plan to develop technology to diagnose the performance and residual durability of recovered batteries. This will allow us to re-purpose high-quality batteries as energy storage systems for other industries.

3. Remanufacture - Hyundai Mobis has established a remanufacturing base that uses high-quality waste batteries sourced globally. It resupplies them into old vehicles or through after-sales services.

4. Recycling - Kia batteries that cannot be remanufactured or repurposed are disassembled by specialist recycling businesses, such as Kia UK’s partner, Autogreen. These extract valuable metals in a safe and controlled way.

Our EV battery recycling and repurposing system demonstrates just a small part of our ongoing efforts to optimise our environmental and social value as we continue to set new standards for the future of driving.

Kia EV6 with Ionity charge

Kia EV batteries are designed to last

Regardless of technical considerations, our battery packs are covered by our 7-year, 100,000-mile car warranty. Modern Lithium-ion Polymer batteries are also far more robust than you might think, with little deterioration occurring over the vehicle’s lifetime.

Our warranty covers – if necessary - repairs needed to return the battery capacity to at least 70% of the original battery capacity. Where possible, the original battery components will be repaired. If unrepairable, the battery will be replaced with either a new or remanufactured Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery.

Kia dealer and customer shaking hands outside dealership

A commitment to more sustainable driving

Everything we do is governed by our worldwide sustainability policy and is in pursuit of our commitment to environmental and social value.

You can learn more about what our dedication to a more sustainable future looks like by exploring our sustainability strategy.

Kia niro EV side view

Images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be to full UK specification. Features shown are not standard across the Kia model range and availability will vary dependant on model. For further details please refer to the individual model specification sheets.