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08-09-2023 | Battery | Dossier | Article

All About Battery Recycling

Author: Christiane Köllner

1 min reading time

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The sustainability of electromobility depends to a large extent on traction batteries. These contain important raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese, which make recycling used batteries from electric vehicles particularly attractive. According to calculations by management consultants McKinsey, recycled batteries have a CO2 footprint that is almost a third smaller than that of new batteries. With its revised Battery Regulation, the EU has now set minimum proportions of recovered raw materials such as cobalt, lead, nickel and lithium in new batteries.

Above all, the growing number of electric cars in markets such as the EU, China or North America will lead to a boom in large lithium-ion batteries (LIB) in the coming years. According to calculations by Fraunhofer ISI, the number of batteries to be recycled in Europe will reach an amount of 420 kilotons in 2030. Currently, about 50 kilotons of used batteries are recycled annually in Europe. In 2020, the majority of used batteries still came from the consumer sector. From around 2035, when a larger number of automotive batteries will have reached their end of life, "end-of-life" batteries from the passenger car sector are expected to make up the largest share. No wonder that the market is moving strongly and growing: numerous new projects for the recycling of LIB are currently being announced. And according to a study by RWTH Aachen University and management consultants PwC, recycling the batteries of electric cars in Europe should be a profitable and sustainable business before 2035. We have summarized the opportunities and market development of LIB recycling in our dossier.

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