Northvolt announced that it has produced what it claims is the first battery cell with a cathode built “100% from recycled nickel, manganese, and cobalt.”
Northvolt is a battery startup founded by two former Tesla executives who worked on Tesla’s first Gigafactory in Nevada with Panasonic.
The Swedish startup received investments from several companies, including Volkswagen, to build a massive battery factory in Sweden.
Volkswagen’s investment also came with the option to create a 50/50 joint venture with the startup to build another battery factory to supply the automaker.
Northvolt is becoming a key partner for Volkswagen to secure battery supply long-term. This long-term supply will enable the company’s electric transition, and the automaker ordered $14 billion worth of batteries from Northvolt earlier this year.
The company is looking to become an important player in battery cell production in Europe, and it wants to be involved throughout the entire supply chain. Recycling batteries will be an important part of that supply chain in the future, and now Northvolt claims to have achieved an important step toward that.
Northvolt announced that it produced the first battery cell with a nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode produced entirely from metals recycled through battery waste:
“Uniquely, all recycling and production processes were completed on a single site, at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden. The development stands as a breakthrough for the battery industry and a milestone for Northvolt in its mission to establish a sustainable supply of batteries to support the decarbonization of society.”
Now the company plans to ramp up its recycling effort in order to produce cells made with 50% recycling materials by 2030.
To achieve that, Northvolt is building a new recycling plant next to its Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå, Sweden:
“With construction beginning in Q1 2022 and operations in 2023, the recycling plant will receive incoming material for recycling from two sources: end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles and production scrap from Northvolt Ett.”
Northvolt aims for the plant to recycle 125,000 tons of batteries per year, which Northvolt then hopes to use to produce 30 GWh of new battery cells per year.
It’s an important new step toward tapping into battery recycling to make electric transportation sustainable long-term.
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