tozero and Huayou Cobalt partner on Li-ion battery recycling

Munich-based climate tech startup tozero and Huayou Recycling are partnering for the recycling of battery waste in Europe. The partnership is intended to have a significant impact on the region’s battery industry, addressing the challenges posed by the growing electrification of the European eMobility landscape and the accompanying surge in battery waste.

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Huayou Recycling will supply tozero with battery waste from end-of-life EV batteries and battery production scrap. tozero’s recycling plant in Munich, operational since April 2023, will utilize this input to recover all critical raw materials necessary for the production of new batteries. The two companies will also jointly explore the potential of leveraging their respective recycling technologies to serve their customer base with a closed-loop battery material solution to reduce the environmental footprint of new batteries significantly.

Current market projections indicate a monumental twenty-fold increase in Lithium-Ion battery (LiB) production by 2030, accompanied by a daunting 740% surge in battery waste from 2022 to 2030. This growth presents a formidable challenge for sustainability efforts.

Anticipated global lithium shortages of 52% by 2030, coupled with increasing social and geopolitical pressure, necessitate the European battery industry to seek alternative local sources of critical raw materials to maintain production targets and achieve the overarching goal to reach net zero.

tozero and Huayou will continue their investments to bolster the availability of necessary critical materials for the production of batteries in Europe over the coming decade. By 2027 tozero will operate Europe’s largest battery recycling facility with an annual capacity to recycle 90,000t of lithium-ion batteries enabling the provision of 6,000t of locally sourced lithium.

“We’re pioneering a new era in the fight against battery waste, a challenge that affects the world at large,” said Sarah Fleischer, Co-founder and CEO of tozero. “By collaborating as a global force, we aim to set an example for the industry, demonstrating the transformative power of partnerships in addressing pressing environmental issues.”

Wei Bao, General Manager of Huayou Recycling, expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating, “We are glad to see that more and more innovative companies are rising and joining force with us in this great mission of sustainability. As a long-established leading battery recycler, we believe that by combining our strengths and resources with tozero, we can truly bring lithium-ion battery waste to zero.”

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