VW starts with battery recycling

VW starts with battery recycling-amounts battery returns expected very late 2020s

Volkswagen today opened the Group-wide first plant for the recycling of high-voltage vehicle batteries at the Salzgitter site. With the start of pilot operation, the Group realize another step in the responsibility for the battery as a key component of electromobility, say Technology Board Thomas Schmall. “We implement the sustainable recycling cycle – and are thus pioneering the industry for a future topic with a great contribution to climate protection and raw material supply.”Target is the industrialized recovery of valuable raw materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt in closed circuit as well as aluminum, copper and plastic with a recycling rate of perspective more than 90 percent.

The peculiarity of the plant in Salzgitter: Only batteries are recycled, which can no longer be used otherwise. Because previously analyzed whether the battery is still powerful enough to obtain about a second life in mobile energy storage such as the flexible fast load column or the mobile loader robot. Larger amounts of battery returns are expected at the very late 2020s. The system is therefore initially designed to recycle up to 3600 battery systems in the year – this corresponds to around 1500 tons. Later, when permanently further optimized methods, the system can be expanded to larger quantities.

The recycling process comes according to VW without the energetically elaborate melting in the blast furnace. The delivered batteries are deployed and dismantled. Then the individual parts are granulated to granules, which is then dried. In addition to aluminum, copper and plastics, above all, the valuable “black powder” is obtained, which contains the important battery raw materials lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt as well as graphite. The last step initially takes over a partner who then treated the powder with water and chemical means and thus separates the individual raw materials varietal.

“Essential components of old cells can be used in the production of new cathode material,” says Mark MOller, Head of Technical Development & E-Mobility at Volkswagen. Research showed that recycled battery raw materials were as powerful as new. With the recovered material, the supply of cell production will be supported. “Since the demand for batteries and thus to increase up to E raw materials, we can use every gram well.”The CO2 saving is estimated at around 1.3 tonnes per 62 kWh battery.

Group boss Dr. Herbert this wants Volkswagen the raw material cycle for the battery “in no place out of hand.”This is the basis of future mobility. In addition, a sustainable value creation cycle can open up new business opportunities for Volkswagen. In a first step, the batteries from experimental vehicles and prototypes are recycled, later all batteries from the E-drive construction boxes of the Group.

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4 thoughts on “VW starts with battery recycling”

  1. I’m looking straight on YouTube that the delivery of ID4 to April should be delayed – again software ?
    At the same time, I read that on the Swiss used car portal Mobile the ID3 with almost 25% of the first place occupied the first place?
    But this is not a gold medal when buyers want to sell again a 3-month car on the market.
    Maybe VW should first focus on the sale of vehicles – if I should already think about recycling the vehicles that are currently sold, that does not promote the confidence in the durability of the batteries – or?

  2. Larger amounts of battery returns are expected at the very late 2020s.

    There will be voice applications for the time being gradually enlarged to gather experiences before the first big wave is coming to oldbattians at the end of the decade.

    It makes sense, of course, the recycling is already now, each ton recycled material protects the environment.

    Maybe some motorists already think about whether it must be the very big battery.

  3. It is true that the battery recycling is tested and built from the beginning. Especially for mass manufacturers, as VW it will be in Eautos hopefully (soon) once. Many equal batteries allow a high degree of automation and effective tools (handling systems, unloading equipment, …) and thus an effective, cost-effective recycling.
    Recycling must be co-developed from the beginning and are available at any time, otherwise the sustainability of the Eautos is only half a thing.
    This will make functioning recycling but also a marketing argument.

    (@Powerwall Thorsten)
    That currently batteries from prototypes and experimental vehicles are probably inevitable. Either they have enough charging cycles behind themselves or you just have to “sacrifice” a few batteries to be able to test the processes … The latter is just an investment in the future, as well as any crash test. I do not believe that the batteries have a short lifespan; that would ruin vw!

  4. Please do not forget the calendar life!!! In addition to the number of cycles, there is still the charging independent aging of the batteries. And this is around 10 to 14 years. So if there are ten years of batteries, they would be little useful for a “Second-Life use”!
    In addition, the calendar life of the old cell chemistry is rather lower. The technology for recycling is already before – that’s not a witchwork. But it is not worth a lack of sufficient number of defective batteries yet. If the numbers rise, the market will quickly adapt – even without VW! Click here for image maintenance!


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