Renault, Veolia and Solvay have announced a collaboration in which metals from end-of-life EV batteries in Europe will be recycled in a closed-loop circular economy.
Veolia and Solvay initially partnered in September 2020, and the consortium has now been strengthened through the addition of Renault and its knowledge in the area of EV battery lifecycles and its circular economy experience. Solvay brings expertise in chemical extraction of battery metals, and Veolia an understanding of lithium-ion battery dismantling and recycling.
The partners’ aim is to reduce CO2 emissions, preserve resources and create value across the battery chain by creating a secure and sustainable supply source for metals used in EV batteries such as nickel, lithium and cobalt.
The trio seeks to achieve this by combining individual knowledge at each step in the chain, from the collection of dead batteries, through to dismantling, extraction and the purification of removed metals, and by enhancing existing mechanical and hydrometallurgical battery recycling processes.
These high-purity metals will then be reused and placed into new EV batteries, to create a highly sustainable closed-loop scenario. An experimental phase is currently underway in which the three companies are setting up a demo plant in France to extract and purify suitable metals to be used in the process.
Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, explained, “Groupe Renault has a holistic approach to the battery lifecycle: repairing first-life batteries to extend their automotive lifespan, developing second-life applications for energy storage and setting up a system for collecting and recycling batteries. Today, we are proud to reinforce our commitment to battery recycling by joining forces with Veolia and Solvay.
“We aim to implement innovative and low-carbon battery recycling solutions to pave the way to sustainable sourcing for strategic battery materials as electric mobility is growing. Together, we will leverage our strong presence on the entire EV value chain in Europe to take a competitive position in the battery materials market and generate value beyond our core business.”