Renault plans to recycle end-of-life EV battery metals

·1-min read
An electric battery being dismantled

The Renault group, an electric vehicle pioneer, has joined forces with Veolia and Solvay in the aim of recycling end-of-life EV battery metals in a closed loop. The aim is to preserve resources while also reintroducing them into the production process, not to mention reducing the carbon emissions linked to battery manufacturing.

What to do with batteries and, above all, the materials they contain, when they reach the end of their lives? That's one major environmental issue resulting from the rise of electric vehicles. In fact, with almost 10 million EVs already in circulation worldwide -- a figure that could increase tenfold in the next 10 years -- it's a crucial question.

In response, Renault has decided to join forces with two partners: Veolia, for the dismantling and recycling of lithium-ion batteries; and the Belgian group Solvay, for the chemical extraction of battery metals.

Together, the partners aim to create a secure and sustainable source of supply for metals used in the manufacturing of EV batteries, namely cobalt, nickel and lithium. These metals have to be extracted and purified in order to be reused. This new closed-loop process should help significantly reduce the environmental footprint of these future batteries.

A pre-industrial demo plant is being set up in France before larger-scale deployment.

Note that the Volkswagen group has also pledged to recycle key materials from its lithium-ion batteries, starting at its Salzgitter plant in Germany.

David Bénard