The Suez and Eramet companies have joined forces to set up an electric car battery recycling plant project. The latter will be located in Dunkirk and should be operational from 2027. Enough to make electric cars even cleaner.
Volvo electric car, for illustration
Although they are fewer and fewer in number, the detractors of the electric car still exist and still have some arguments. In addition to the price and autonomy, the battery recycling still remains a subject frequently opposed by the defenders of this engine. Except that it is less and less valid.
A promising project
Indeed, if it is true that the recovery of accumulators at the end of their life raised a question a few years ago, things have evolved quite a bit since then. Now, more and more companies, like Redwood Materials for example, are working on battery recycling. But now two other companies are currently being talked about for a very promising project for the future.
It is Suez, specialized in waste treatment as well as the mining and metallurgical group Eramet. The latter has just published a press release in which he announces the creation of an alliance between the two companies. The goal ? Build a large factory for battery recycling of electric cars.
The latter will use an “innovative process”. The latter will make it possible to “achieve, or even exceed, the requirements of future European regulations in terms of recycling, with use of natural resources and a reduced carbon footprint”. For the record, Europe imposes from 2027 recycling 90% of cobalt, copper and nickel and about 50% of lithium.
This technique, the details of which have not been revealed in detail, will first be tested on a small scale. in the Eramet research center located in Trappes, in the Paris region. In 2025, construction of the real recycling plant will finally start in Dunkirk. It should then be operational from 2027.
The location of this site was not chosen at random, since the city located in the north of France will also host the Envision factory, which will produce batteries for Renault’s future electric cars. The site dedicated to recycling will be divided into two centers, one upstream which will take care of the dismantling of accumulators, with a capacity of approximately 200,000 per year. The other will be responsible for extracting and refine materials like lithium, cobalt and nickel.
The latter make up blackmass, a black powder obtained by crushing battery cells. Then, the latter is revalued in order to create new ones, which should make it possible to alleviate the risk of shortage, even if a new lithium deposit has just been discovered. Enough to make electric cars even more virtuous, while Brussels wants to encourage manufacturers to manufacture them in Europe.
But the two companies are not the only ones taking a close interest in recycling used batteries. This is also the case for Tesla, which revalues its own by more than 90%, while Volkswagen wants to do so infinitely thanks to an innovative process. For its part, Mercedes announced at the start of the year the inauguration of a new factory entirely dedicated to recycling in order to achieve a rate of 96%.
But others want to go even further, like the Chinese giant CATL. The latter plans to build several recycling plants in Europe in order to achieve 99% recovery over the coming years.
The future of Numerama is coming soon! But before that, our colleagues need you. Do you have 3 minutes? Take their survey