Audi and Umicore, a materials technology and recycling group, have successfully tested a closed-loop approach for recycling components of high-voltage batteries. The companies’ research has shown that 95 percent of raw materials contained in batteries – including cobalt, nickel, and copper – can be recovered and reused for new products.
In a closed-loop recycling approach, elements from retired batteries are transferred directly into new products. The goal is to ensure the security of supply and shorten delivery cycles by eliminating waste and increasing efficiency. Umicore has begun applying this approach to the high-voltage batteries used in the new Audi e-tron, hoping to learn more about the purity of recovered elements and recycling rates.
“We want to be a pioneer and to promote recycling processes,” said Audi Board Member Bernd Martens. “This is also an element of our program to reduce CO2 emissions in procurement.”