Mercedes-Benz is building a battery recycling plant in Germany; the automaker plans to use the materials to produce more electric vehicles.
The multi-million dollar plant will be constructed in two phases. The first phase will be for mechanical dismantling of batteries and is expected to be completed by 2023. The second is still in planning stages and will be for hydrometallurgical processing of battery materials.
The facility will have the capacity to produce more than 50,000 battery modules for Mercedes-EQ models. It also will have the capacity to recycle 2,500 metric tons of batteries per year.
As part of the plan for its own recycling facilities, Mercedes also says it will partner with high-tech organizations in the United States and China to increase its circular manufacturing of batteries and materials for electric vehicles. Overall, the automaker plans to increase its recycling rate to 96%.
Mercedes says the plant will use a mechanical and hydrometallurgical process, which is a metal recovery method from spent batteries to get materials from waste using water, oxygen and other chemical substances without using a pressurized system. The facility will use sustainable recycling of raw materials into the production of new batteries, the company says.
Additionally, Mercedes is creating a subsidy for the project called Licular GmbH, which will work with battery recycling technology partner Primobious. Australian developer Neometals is also contributing technical insight to the project.
The project will receive funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action’s Battery Innovation Support Program.
While battery production is a significant priority in the automotive industry, with Ford and Toyota investing billions in manufacturing, for example, the recycling aspect lags behind those efforts. Still, the transportation battery recycling market is growing and is expected to generate $10.3 billion by 2030.
Ford and Volvo are also participating in an electric vehicle recycling program in California by Redwood Materials, which also intends to put recycled batteries back into production. Battery Resourcers is opening what it says will be the largest battery recycling facility in North America later this year.