With the first wave of electric cars in China reaching the 200,000 kilometer mileage point, some batteries have begun to enter the discarding period, posing a great challenge to the recycling industry, Yicai.com reported.

According to the report, the battery recycling market will begin to hit stride in 2018. The market is expected to grow to 5 billion yuan (US$790 million).

By 2020 to 2030, it is estimated that the market size will increase exponentially to 13.6 and 31.1 billion yuan, respectively.

On the one hand, the recycling of power batteries is based on security considerations. On the other hand, 70% of a power battery for an electric vehicle is cobalt. This makes the recycling even more important, since China is in short supply of cobalt.

“(About) 95% of the cobalt depends on imports,” said Li Jian, the chairman and CTO of Sai De Mei, a Beijing-based recycling firm, “and the price of cobalt has already doubled.”