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25-04-2023 | Battery | News | Article

All About Battery Recycling

Author: Christiane Köllner

1 min reading time

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. According to a new EU directive, recycling rates for cobalt, nickel and copper are to rise to 90% in 2025 and 95% in 2030, respectively. For lithium, the quotas are 35% and 70% respectively. 

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. We have summarized the opportunities and market development of LIB recycling in our dossier.

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