WHILE electric vehicles might provide the solution to depleted energy reserves, dangerously high CO2 emissions and pollutants in the air we breathe, they do have problems of their own. Like what will we do with all the thousands of lithium-ion batteries they use when they come to the end of their serviceable life?
One Made in Britain member is working on the answer to that question. Resource recovery expert and Axion has joined forces with two other partners in a major initiative aimed at reusing and recycling the growing volume of batteries used in electric vehicles and light automotive applications. It will also address the large number of cells from end-of-life portable electronic equipment.
The joint initiative with Aspire Engineering Ltd, a specialist in the three ‘R’s of the sustainable circular economy (remanufacturing, reuse, recycle), and Aceleron, a lithium-ion battery reuse specialist, will tackle the growing market of electric vehicle battery systems at the end of initial life.
In the UK alone, it is estimated that there could be more than 100,000 end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles that will need recycling or re-using over the next decade.
Together the three companies are offering a full service for end-of-life lithium-ion batteries that will address the previously complex, expensive and energy-intensive issues associated with recycling these types of materials.
A joint facility based at Axion’s recycling sites in Manchester will be receiving batteries collected from customers. Here they will be assessed for their reuse potential using Aceleron’s innovative testing methods, and Aspire’s engineering and process operating model for disassembly and rebuild. Batteries that have usable life remaining will be remanufactured or reused in a variety of applications by Aspire or Aceleron, with the remainder being recycled through Axion.
Sam Haig, Axion’s head of engineering and research, told Made in Britain, “Combining the skills of all three companies opens up a more cost-effective end-of-life route by recovering batteries that still have a useful life and extracts more value that can be passed onto clients.”
Find out more about recycling by Axion here