Recycled lithium batteries are being used in more automotive applications. In Germany used lithium batteries from Audi cars are being reused in forklift trucks in the car manufacturer’s factory. The batteries come from the Audi e-tron, its first all-electronic car, and hybrid models such as the A3 and Q7 e-tron.
Lead-acid batteries typically power Audi’s forklift trucks. These batteries weigh two tonnes each, hence recharging is difficult, as they have to be removed from the truck. The main advantage of a recycled battery is that they don’t have to be removed for recharging.
In Europe the law requires car manufacturers to take back the batteries from their electric cars for recycling. These batteries often retain a large part of their charging capacity. As a result recycling these discarded batteries will enable the extraction of valuable raw materials for use in future manufacturing.
Recycled lithium batteries boost performance
In the case of the Audi, used lithium-ion batteries can boost the driving performance of a forklift truck. Forklifts carrying lithium-ion batteries maintain a constant speed, even on slopes. In contrast this is not possible with lead-acid batteries.
An Audi electric battery is located on the passenger side of a car and is easily accessible. It has 36 individual modules. To make a compatible workable forklift battery you need 24 modules in good working order. The recycled battery must also be of a similar weight to the existing lead-acid battery. Once those criteria are met the recycled battery is ready to use in the forklift.
The Recycal group of companies is embarking on the establishment of a major new investment in battery collection and recycling. Their research shows that stewardship on lithium batteries is far more advanced in Europe than anywhere else in the world. Recycal are confident that the introduction of advanced European technology will be a major step forward for the company.