Recovering the strategic metals contained in batteries at the end of the life of electric vehicles to limit the impact on resources and the environment: these are the challenges bringing together Groupe Renault, Veolia and Solvay.
The intention is to recycle end of life battery metals in a closed loop. The consortium illustrates a new type of collaboration across the battery value chain to preserve resources, reduce carbon emissions and create value. The existing Veolia and Solvay consortium, created in September 2020, is reinforced by Groupe Renault’s pioneering position and experience in circular economy and in the life cycle of EV batteries, leading to a highly complementary partnership benefitting from Solvay’s expertise in the chemical extraction of battery metals and Veolia’s 10 years of experience in lithium-ion battery dismantling and recycling via a ‘hydrometallurgical’ process. With the number of electric vehicles on the road expected to grow from 10 million in 2020 to over 100 million by 2030 worldwide, ensuring stable access to responsibly sourced battery materials is a strategic challenge. In that respect, the three partners seek to establish a secure and sustainable supply source for strategic battery metals, such as cobalt, nickel and lithium. The three partners are already actively engaged in an experimental phase, which involves setting up a pre-industrial demo plant in France with the capability to extract and purify end-of-life EV battery metals.
Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, declared: “Groupe Renault has a holistic approach to the battery life cycle: repairing first-life batteries to extend their automotive lifespan, developing second-life applications for energy storage and setting up a system for collecting and recycling batteries. Today, we are proud to reinforce our commitment to battery recycling by joining forces with Veolia and Solvay. We aim at implementing innovative and low-carbon battery recycling solutions to pave the way to sustainable sourcing for strategic battery materials as electric mobility is growing. Together, we will leverage our strong presence on the entire EV value chain in Europe to take a competitive position in the battery materials market and generate value beyond our core business.”
Antoine Frérot CEO of Veolia, commented, “Given the magnitude of the environmental issues the world is facing, ecological transformation is an urgent need. With Groupe Renault joining Veolia and Solvay, we are collectively taking a step further towards closed-loop solutions to preserve natural resources. This shows how companies working together can think up and implement new solutions that both better our environment and renew our economies.”
Ilham Kadri, CEO of Solvay Group, added, “This consortium is a great example of partnership in the value chain that makes circular economy come true for battery metals. We are thrilled to have Groupe Renault join the consortium and view them as a strategic partner in closing the loop of circularity, bringing input material for recycling and re-injecting purified metals into the battery cycle. This project exemplifies how we walk the talk with our Solvay One Planet sustainability roadmap as we aim to more than double revenues generated in a circular economy by 2030.”