As the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and other battery-powered devices continues to grow, the need for sustainable and responsible battery management becomes increasingly urgent. That's why the remanufacturing of batteries presents a big opportunity, both environmentally and economically.
The Environmental Benefits of Remanufacturing Batteries
Batteries contain hazardous materials like lead, cadmium, and mercury that can contaminate soil and groundwater if not properly disposed of. Remanufacturing batteries prevents these materials from ending up in landfills or being released into the environment, which can have harmful effects on both human health and the environment. By giving batteries a second life, we can reduce waste and promote a circular economy.
The Economic Benefits of Remanufacturing Batteries
Remanufacturing batteries can recover valuable metals and other materials that can be used in the production of new batteries and other products. This reduces the reliance on mining for raw materials, which can be expensive and have negative environmental impacts. Additionally, the market for battery remanufacturing is growing rapidly, presenting a great opportunity for innovation and investment.
Europe's Leading Role in Battery Remanufacturing
In 2050, Europe is expected to generate over €6 billion in revenue from recycling electric vehicle batteries. Currently, the remanufacturing capacity for these batteries in Europe is around 80,000 tons per year, while the volume of batteries to be recycled is expected to reach 3.4 million tons by 2050. Remanufacturing nickel, cobalt, and lithium from these batteries will make Europe more independent in terms of the extraction and processing of related raw materials. EU regulations make it mandatory to remanufacture electric vehicle batteries, and the demand for recycled material is expected to grow, driven by new targets for minimum recycled content in batteries. Electric vehicle batteries can only have one fate after use: remanufacturing.
Remanufacturing Batteries: A Whole New Supply Chain
Remanufacturing these batteries also means becoming more independent from the extraction and processing of related raw materials, leveraging resources that are already refined and ready to be put back into the production process. The space for industry and creating new jobs is enormous. In addition to creating a whole new supply chain, with all the economic, employment, and environmental benefits that come with it.
The Battery Value Chain
The battery value chain today is structured into two main phases: production and use, and end-of-life management, with the latter including the stages of collection, transportation, second-life use of the battery, recycling, before arriving at the sale of remanufactured material. The opportunities arising from end-of-life battery management are already beginning to incentivise traditional actors in the value chain to extend their competencies into adjacent roles. Anticipating one's moves can trigger a significant competitive advantage.
A Circular Value Chain for Batteries
The creation of a circular value chain for batteries is essential to harness the value stored in their residual capacity and the components that make them up. In addition to sustainability, the interest of the actors involved in this issue is incentivized by the synergies between production and use activities and end-of-life management.
Circular economy for EV batteries: reuse, repurpose, recycle
Challenges for the Future
Therefore, it is not just about exploring the economic impacts of remanufacturing electric vehicle batteries, but also providing a detailed overview of the technology and processes used, illustrating the characteristics of various treatments, and anticipating the peculiarities of upcoming generations of batteries. Challenges for the future will involve the development of sustainable and high-value solutions to support the supply of high-quality secondary raw materials for reuse in Gigafactories for battery production, currently under development in Europe.
At Infinitev, we are committed to promoting sustainable and responsible battery management through the remanufacturing of EV and hybrid batteries. We want to see a world where batteries are borrowed by multiple users along their life: reused, repurposed, and recycled infinitely.
The content of this post is courtesy of Rematec