Critical Mineral Recycling Provides Economic Opportunity for Buckeye State

Press Release
June 20, 2024



C2ES: Critical Mineral Recycling Provides Economic Opportunity for Buckeye State

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WASHINGTON—The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) today released a new brief, Creating a Circular Economy for Critical Materials in Ohio, outlining policy recommendations and community insights on creating a circular economy for critical mineral recycling in Ohio, following a regional roundtable held in Columbus this past winter.

The meeting brought together 40 participants representing companies, industry groups, local, and state government, nonprofits, community organizations, academics, and labor.

A state with a rich legacy in automotive manufacturing, Ohio stands at a pivotal moment as automakers and suppliers make plans to exponentially expand capacity to compete in global vehicle markets. As automakers work to expand model offerings, build and staff new battery manufacturing facilities, and grow electric vehicle (EV) supply chains, the state has an opportunity to act decisively in leveraging its history and infrastructure to strengthen Ohio’s economy for decades to come.

Crucially, demand for critical minerals is growing rapidly as clean energy and EV industries expand. Recycling batteries can help simplify supply chains and avoid the environmental impact of mining new materials. Recycled critical minerals could one day meet up to 20 percent of the total demand. Growth in the recycling and use of recycled critical minerals can also deliver significant benefits for Ohio, which can capitalize on logistical advantages to become a geographic center for the EV and battery industry. As of 2022, 75 percent of North American EV and hybrid-vehicle assembly and announced U.S. EV battery manufacturing facilities were located within a 500-mile radius of Columbus. Creating a domestic circular supply chain for critical minerals will play a large role in helping EV production scale sustainably.

“As debate swirls around the U.S. strategy for securing critical materials essential to manufacturing EV batteries, embracing circularity presents an untapped, but elegant, solution that can help revitalize automotive manufacturing in the Buckeye State,” said C2ES vice president for policy and outreach Brad Townsend. “Our Columbus roundtable really underscored that companies across Ohio see an opportunity to capitalize on a highly-skilled workforce to build on the state’s manufacturing legacy in a rapidly growing global market. They simply need policymakers to support that ambition.

Key takeaways from the discussion on how to better position Ohio to benefit included:

  • Improving the economics of recycling for EV batteries. The industry needs more funding for infrastructure and technology, consumer incentives, and regulations to fully mature
  • Supporting battery design with recyclability in mind to simplify the process
  • More education for consumers, business, workers, and policymakers
  • Community engagement – early and often – matters

The discussion resulted in several policy recommendations, focused broadly around the following areas:

  • Facilitate recycling, improve recyclability, and promote second-life applications of batteries
  • Promote data transparency and information sharing
  • Support innovation & attracting investment
  • Increase onshore critical materials capacity
  • Promote workforce development and safety

To learn more about the discussion and explore all of the policy takeaways, read the full brief.


About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) works to secure a safe and stable climate, by accelerating the global transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and a thriving, just, and resilient economy. Learn more at