Audi and Umicore have
successfully completed phase one of their strategic research cooperation for
battery recycling. The two partners are developing a closed loop for components
of high-voltage batteries that can be used again and again. Particularly
valuable materials are set to become available in a raw materials bank.
Already before the start of
the cooperation with Umicore in June 2018, Audi had analysed the batteries in
the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid car and defined ways of recycling. Together with
the material technology experts, the car manufacturer then determined the
possible recycling rates for battery components such as cobalt, nickel and
copper. The result: In laboratory tests, more than 95 percent of these elements
can be recovered and reused.
The partners are now
developing specific recycling concepts. The focus is on the so-called
closed-loop approach. In such a closed cycle, valuable elements from batteries
flow into new products at the end of their lifecycle and are thus reused. The
Ingolstadt-based company is now applying this approach to the high-voltage
batteries in the new Audi e-tron electric car. The aim is to gain insights into
the purity of the recovered materials, recycling rates and the economic
feasibility of concepts such as a raw materials bank. Security of supply and
shorter delivery cycles are the goals. “We want to be a pioneer and to promote
recycling processes. This is also an element of our program to reduce CO2
emissions in procurement,” says Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management
for Procurement and IT at Audi AG.
For Audi, battery recycling is
a key element of sustainable electric mobility. From the extraction of raw
materials to the CO2-neutral e-tron plant in Brussels to the recycling of
components, the premium brand is committed to environmentally compatible
concepts along its entire value chain
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