BMW, Northvolt and Umicore establish technology consortium to further develop a complete, sustainable value chain for battery cells

BMW, Northvolt and Umicore establish technology consortium to further develop a complete, sustainable value chain for battery cells-establish

The BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore have formed a joint technology consortium to work closely together to further develop a complete and sustainable battery cell value chain for electric vehicles in Europe.

Together, it has been dedicated to the goal of promoting the sustainable industrialization of battery cells in Europe and the associated competence structure of cell chemistry and development through production to recycling. It is ensured that the pan-European consortium will contribute to the creation of jobs in the high-tech area. Thus, you fully support the EU battery alliance founded by EU Commissioner MaroS Sefčovič.

“An explained goal of the EBA is to produce particularly environmentally friendly batteries by means of strict specifications along the entire value chain to significantly improve the CO2 and raw material balance of electric cars. The EU Commission speaks of a “green battery”.”

The three companies are convinced that batteries are crucial for the transition to clean mobility and clean energy systems. The main objective of the technology consortium founded by BMW, Northvolt and Umicore is to make battery cells sustainably by building a closed lifecycle circuit. This begins with a recyclable cell design and continues with a manufacturing process that uses predominantly renewable energies.

The next step is a long time of primary use as a drive battery, possibly followed by another phase of secondary use as a stationary energy storage device. At the end of their lifecycle, the cell is recycled, the raw materials reused and thus closed the circulation.

Precisely due to the massive movements in the field of e-mobility, it is important to make a wide basis for the procurement of battery cells for the manufacturers. The companies complement each other in this project. Thus, Northvolt stands for sustainable production and BMW as a car manufacturer already looks back on its own experience in developing its own battery cells, which can be introduced into the consortium.

The construction of the Research Center Northvolt Labs in Vasterås was launched in May 2018. There you will concentrate on the process innovation, scaling and vertical integration of lithium-ion batteries. This experience will certainly be brought into the consortium, as well as that from the future BMW AG Battery Cell Competence Center in Munich.

“Northvolt’s approach to sustainability makes it a very attractive company for us, which has also been very open to our ideas. For this reason, the BMW Group and Northvolt have been working together for some time as part of a strategic technology project. The collaboration will leverage the capabilities of Northvolt Labs, a scale-up line and research facility, to test and industrialize battery cells prior to mass production with the goal of developing state-of-the-art green battery cells. The collaboration was supported by an investment from the BMW Group to enable the initial phase of the partnership.“ – Klaus Frohlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG and responsible for development

Since battery cells contain essential resources and materials, the return to the cycle is becoming more and more important, the more electric vehicles multiply. Since Umicore is a leader in the development and production of active materials for battery cells and resource recycling and the BMW Group has a tremendous know-how in the area of material and cell design, there is also great hope for some great achievements in this area. Umicore assumes that the number of electric vehicles on the streets worldwide will be about 40 times higher in 2030 than in 2017, which leads to a strong increase in the availability of old batteries for recycling.

“It is pleasing to see that the product technologies and recycling services of Umicore are key factors for this technology alliance with BMW and Northvolt. By demonstrating a closed cycle for high-performance, green and EU-based batteries, we underline the future potential and meaning of a European supply chain for the success of auto electrification in the region.”- Marc Grynberg, CEO of Umicore

Umicore is the partner responsible for the active development and recycling of anode and cathode materials in the technology alliance. This cooperation will enable innovative and highly efficient production technologies for the production of active materials based on recycled metals. In addition, this project includes the intelligent decomposition of the battery pack, the check for reuse of the battery cells and the recycling of recycled resources into active material production.

Increasing electromobility will limit the growing demand not only to the sustainable recovery of raw materials – the recovery of already used materials is becoming increasingly important to relieve raw material production.

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  1. […] the cell technology that is decisive for electromobility, the BMW Group also operates a joint technology consortium with the Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and Umicore, a Belgian developer of battery materials. The cooperation deals with the […]

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