An Activity Theory-Based Analysis Approach for End-of-Life Management of Electric Vehicle Batteries

Posted: 23 Jul 2019

See all articles by Jie Li

Jie Li

Donghua University

Zhi Qiao

Shanghai University of Engineering Science

Date Written: July 20, 2019


Since Electric Vehicles (EVs) are seen as a critical part of sustainable transportation, the demand for EVs has been growing rapidly in the worldwide. Despite the tremendous increase of EVs, there is limited research investigating how the complicated relationships between the key players impact the management system of end-of-life batteries. In order to generate suitable solutions for waste traction batteries, several issues need to be considered, including environmental impacts, economic viability and regulations, etc. In addition, it is essential that key players (i.e. battery producers, automobile manufacturers, recyclers, customers and government, etc.) should cooperate to achieve the sustainability goal. This research aims to adopt the activity theory to understand the dynamics of complex end-of-life system, model the actions taken by different entities and provide a management map for different audiences. First, the analysis model is developed in which the attributes of task objectives are presented. Secondly, the collaborative mechanism between the key players is described. Therefore, the independence and interactions between the players are explained. Thirdly, a number of case studies are undertaken to identify the challenges and opportunities for the battery recyclers. The analysis and proposed framework would enable key players to better understand their individual responsibilities and the operation of the entire management system. This research will also provide a source of information that supports the generation of strategies for sustainable management of end-of-life traction batteries.

Keywords: activity theory; waste management; electric vehicle; traction batteries; sustainability

Suggested Citation

Li, Jie and Qiao, Zhi, An Activity Theory-Based Analysis Approach for End-of-Life Management of Electric Vehicle Batteries (July 20, 2019). Abstract Proceedings of 2019 International Conference on Resource Sustainability - Cities (icRS Cities). Available at SSRN:

Jie Li (Contact Author)

Donghua University ( email )

Shanghai 200051

Zhi Qiao

Shanghai University of Engineering Science ( email )

shanghai, 201620

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