A new technology consortium consisting of BMW, Northvolt and Umicore will develop a sustainable value chain for battery cells. The news comes right on the heels of the European Battery Alliance counting their efforts and progress.
The EU Commission is calling for a green battery made in Europe and the three firms follow said objective in their planning. BMW, Northvolt and Umicore say they want to “press ahead with the sustainable industrialisation of battery cells in Europe and the associated acquisition of skills, from cell chemistry and development through to production and ultimately recycling”.
So the main objective is to establish a closed life cycle loop, starting with a cell design that enables recycling and mostly using energy from renewables for production. Manufacturing is followed by the primary use of the batteries as power packs in electric vehicles. These can then move on to become energy storage in second life applications before finally, the cell is recycled and the raw materials reused, thereby completing the loop.
The partners are well-positioned to achieve this task. Not only has BMW been developing their own batteries, they have also been working with Northvolt in their Labs for some time now. Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the BMW Board responsible for Development, called Northvolt a “highly appealing company for us, that was furthermore very receptive to our ideas,” particularly when it comes to sustainability. Moreover, BMW states in a release that “with its battery cell production, Northvolt provides the final element needed for purely European production of complete batteries for electric mobility applications in future”.
Umicore then is the partner responsible for active anode and cathode materials development and recycling in the technology alliance. In addition, this project covers smart battery pack disassembly, screening for reutilisation of the battery cells and feeding the recycled resources back into active material production.