The Renault Group will cooperate with waste disposal and recycling specialist Veolia and the chemical group Solvay in the development of a circular economy for metals from the used batteries of electric vehicles. The three companies have presented a declaration of intent.
The partnership aims to create a secure and sustainable source of supply for strategic battery raw materials such as cobalt, nickel and lithium, according to Renault. Veolia and Solvay had already founded a corresponding group in September 2020, which the Renault Group is now joining.
According to the French carmaker, the partners will contribute “their respective know-how at each stage of the value chain” and improve existing mechanical and metallurgical battery recycling processes. This will include, for example, the collection of used batteries from electric vehicles, as well as dismantling, metal extraction and cleaning. A pilot plant in France is already under construction.
Renault CEO Luca de Meo said:
“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.”
The group is taking a holistic approach: according to de Meo, a system for collecting and recycling batteries will also incorporate “the repair of first-life batteries to extend their life in the vehicle”. The latter has already been offered, but in practice there have been recurring problems.
Renault already has a number of electric cars in its range, including the Renault Zoe, one of the most popular models in Europe. In the future, more models are to follow, such as an electric Mégane in the compact class or a Renault 5 as another electric small car.