How is Volkswagen Disposing of EV Batteries?

By Product Expert | Posted in Volkswagen News on Friday, February 26th, 2021 at 12:24 pm
A plaque stating when the EV battery pilot recycling program started and who is running it

Volkswagen Group Components Starts Recycling Pilot

Have you ever wondered what happens to old electrical car batteries? Do you wonder if these batteries are being properly disposed of? Well, Volkswagen has been tinkering around with this idea and has created a battery recycling pilot in Salzgitter, Germany. This program has much to offer the world of recycling with the goal of recovering raw materials from used lithium-ion batteries. This blog will cover how these batteries are being recycled and how many batteries are expected to be recycled this year.

How are EV Batteries Recycled?

A person in pink gloves using a tool to take EV batteries apart

Prior to being recycled, the battery is tested to ensure it cannot be reused. Once the battery is deemed inefficient, it can be recycled. The process of recycling an EV battery can be simplified in three steps: delivery, deep discharge, and dismantle. This system fortunately does not involve any form of melting in a blast furnace. The parts that are dismantled are broken down in the shredder and dried. This process recovers the raw materials that were used to make the battery in the first place. Some of these materials include lithium, manganese, nickel, and cobalt. These materials can one day be reused to create new cathode materials. Experts at Volkswagen stated that these recycled materials are just as powerful and useful as new raw materials.

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How Many Batteries Can Volkswagen Recycle Yearly?

This project is still in its pilot phase, but that has not stopped Volkswagen from thinking big. The pilot program is prepared to recycle up to 3,600 battery systems per year while in this phase. This equals more then 1,600 tons of EV batteries. Volkswagen realizes that as this program continues, the number of batteries that need to be recycled will continue to grow. The project will be adjusted in the future to be able to tackle these larger quantities. As well, the process of recycling may be altered as the program is optimized.

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