The TU Munich presents LiBCycle, a company spun off in 2021, in more detail, which takes care of used electric car batteries. The start-up has developed a transport box that should significantly facilitate handling with the battery packs – and built an additional business model from it.
It all started with the idea of a transport box for old batteries. However, this has developed into a more comprehensive service for the transport of used batteries. In the meantime, LiBCycle also offers the appropriate logistics.
“Thanks to our boxes, we make it very easy for the manufacturers. We pick up the batteries and take them directly to the recycler or a second-life provider. All that is needed is the order, and LiBCycle takes care of the rest,” explains Áron Németh, CTO of the start-up. The biggest customer is already the automotive industry, just one year after its founding. With its transformation to electromobility, the industry has a huge need for solutions to dispose of used batteries – and, according to the TU Munich’s statement, is “happy to pass this need on to service providers”.
The highlight of the self-developed transport box: Unlike usual in the industry, the LiBCycle box does without loose bulk material as filling material between the individual battery modules and relies on flexible glass fibre cushions. This is more sustainable, simplifies handling and the boxes can be loaded faster. The box itself and its components are awaiting their patent certification.
After only one year, LiBCycle is already “cash flow positive”. This means that the founders are taking in more money than they have to spend. According to company founder Philipp Brunotte, that was precisely the goal: “We don’t want to save ourselves from financing round to financing round, but want to make our company sustainable!”
The idea for LiBCycle came to the two of them during their studies at TUM. In the course of the ‘TUM Entrepreneurial Masterclass’, in which students can write their master’s thesis and prepare their business start-up, the first business plan was developed. “At the beginning, we focused on our transport boxes, but at the request of our customers it quickly became clear that we had to think holistically and so we also took logistics and recycling into our own hands together with partner companies,” says Brunotte.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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