Volkswagen has opened its first electric car battery recycling plant in Salzgitter, Germany.
The goal for the new plant is to recover valuable raw materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt in a closed loop together with aluminium, copper and plastics. The move will boost sustainability for the entire value chain of the electric vehicle battery.
The plant has been designed to initially recycle up to 3,600 battery systems per year during its pilot phase. This is equivalent to approximately 1,500 tonnes.
In the future, the system can be scaled up to handle larger quantities as the process is consistently optimised. The firm is aiming for a recycling recovery rate of over 90% in the long term.
Every battery that enters the plant is first analysed to ensure that only batteries that can no longer be used for other purposes are recycled.
Batteries that can still be used will find seconday-life applications in mobile energy storage systems such as the flexible rapid charging station or the mobile charging robot.
The CO2 savings are calculated at approximately 1.3 tonnes per 62kWh battery manufactured, using cathodes made from recycled material and using green electricity.
Learn more about Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV, the ID.4, here!