If successful, this bold move will be an industry game changer, making electric vehicles competitive with conventional counterparts. But the announcement also underscores one of the fundamental challenges that will complicate the transition to electric vehicles. ADVERTISEMENTBut electric cars have their own dirty little secret: Every electric vehicle, and most hybrid vehicles, rely on large lithium-ion batteries weighing hundreds of pounds. None of the lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles are recyclable in the same sense that paper, glass, and lead car batteries are. There are no clear prohibitions against exporting used lithium-ion batteries or selling used vehicles with degraded batteries to low-income countries at fire-sale prices.