Audi and Umicore will join forces to successfully complete the first phase of a new project into battery recycling. Importantly, the new partnership will develop methods to extract key components from high voltage batteries.  The new venture will launch in June 2019.

95% recovery possible

Audi analysed components of the batteries used to power their latest new car, the A3 E-tron plug-in hybrid car.  Cobalt, nickel and copper are the key components of interest.  Above all the testing showed that Audi can extract 95% of these  components for recycling.  Most importantly this confirms the economic viability of the new venture. As a result the two companies will now look to concentrate on improving extraction methods that will achieve maximum efficiency.  Consequently, they will gain insights into the purity of the recovered materials, likely recycling rates and the economic feasibility of urban mining.

Audi and Umicore- future pioneers

“We want to be a pioneer and to promote advanced recycling processes.” says Bernd Martens, a member of the board at Audi. “Most importantly its an element of our programme to reduce CO2 emissions in procurement,” he adds.

Audi operates in 100 markets worldwide, manufacturing in 12 countries and 16 locations. In recent published figures, the group sold 1.878 million branded cars, 815 Lamborghini sports cars and  55,900 Ducati motorcycles. Audi employs approximately 90,000 people globally, with one third working outside Germany. Above all Audi’s move is a clear signal that the car industry is fully embracing new recycling technologies.

Car brands in Australia are now looking at how the key components of cobalt, nickel and copper are recycled. Recycal and its associated companies are in discussions with a range of automotive and truck brands so as to launch some new recycling technology into Australia in early 2019.   Hence a new facility is being built at Recycal’s sister company ‘cma ecocycle’ at Campbellfield in Victoria and will be commissioned in 2019.

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