Maidenhead, England – Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors has launched a program to recycle its battery packs throughout Europe. The packs will be recycled by Umicore at its facility in Belgium, with the expended pack material used to produce an alloy that will be further refined into cobalt, nickel and other metals.
After that, Umicore will transform the cobalt into high-grade lithium cobalt oxide, which can be resold to battery manufacturers. One of the few byproducts is a clean inertized slag containing calcium oxides and lithium, which will go into the production of special-grades concrete. Tesla said that Umicore’s battery recycling technology allows a minimum savings of 70 per cent on CO2 emissions at the recovery and refining of the valuable metals.
“While we work to help lessen global dependence on petroleum-based transportation and drive down the cost of electric vehicles, we are also taking the lead in developing a closed-loop battery recycling system,” said Kurt Kelty, Tesla’s director of energy storage systems.
Tesla said that its customers will not pay extra for recycling of the battery pack, which is expected to last seven to ten years or about 160,000 kilometres in normal use.