US seeks ways to recycle lithium batteries in cars, phones

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. government is leading an ambitious effort to develop ways to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, cellphones and other sources to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of metals crucial to battery production. The Energy Department announced a $15-billion, three-year research and development project at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago. Officials say it's an attempt to catch up with China and other countries that manufacture and recycle the vast majority of lithium-ion batteries, including those shipped back from the U.S. They say depending on other countries for metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, as well as finished batteries, undermines national security because the source countries are not always close allies.