Batteries

    Giving EV batteries a second life

    The raw materials needed for lithium-ion batteries are in limited supply. Recycling the battery is part of making EVs sustainable. An overview.

    The raw materials needed for lithium-ion batteries are in limited supply. Recycling the battery is part of making EVs sustainable. An overview.

    „Design for Sustainability“

    Electromobility must be considered holistically. For economic, ecological, and social reasons, this applies in particular to the traction battery in an electric vehicle. This is why the German automotive industry also advocates the concept of design for sustainability.

    This means that the German automotive industry constantly strives to extend the "first life" of the battery as long as possible. To this end, returned batteries are always checked by certified and qualified dismantling companies on the basis of specially defined criteria. A decision is then made on its further use as a reconditioned battery in an electric vehicle or in another application ("second life").

    Only when reprocessing is ruled out is the traction battery recycled.

    Recycling technologies arise from the product

    With all the recycling processes available today, the strategic metals of cobalt, nickel, and copper can now be recovered. Recycling processes for lithium are already possible and are continuously being developed into industrially applicable and economically viable processes.

    Here, the recycling technologies arise from the product. As was initially the case with lead-acid batteries, recycling processes for lithium-ion traction batteries will continue to evolve. Development in this area can be supported by certain government programs in Germany, which is why special recycling processes should not be excluded by regulation in advance.

    Michael Püschner
    Division Environment & Sustainability

    Michael Püschner

    Head

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