R Materials from old electric car batteries can pollute the environment - or they can be used to build new batteries. Audi has now teamed up with the Belgian recycling group Umicore to build new high-voltage batteries from recycled raw materials.
Audi and Umicore have been researching possibilities for battery recycling for a year. Over 90 percent of the cobalt and nickel used in the battery of the Audi e-tron can now be recovered. Umicore is to process the recovered raw materials into precursor materials for further processing and into cathode material.
A closed raw material cycle as a goal
Audi wants one create a closed cycle for battery raw materials. However, it takes a while before a battery is no longer usable. So far, experts have assumed that the battery capacity will have dropped to 70 to 85 percent after ten years. After that, stationary use as network storage is possible - Audi has also been testing this for a year.
Since there are currently hardly any batteries for recycling, Umicore is initially using batteries from Audi development vehicles. The recycling plant is located in Hoboken, south of Antwerp, and is currently recovering cobalt, nickel and copper. In the future, it should also be possible to recover lithium.