MG Motor India & Lohum form battery material supply loop
MG Motor India has joined forces with Indian reuse and recycling company Lohum to establish a comprehensive ecosystem for the reuse and life cycle management of EV batteries. Under the collaboration, Lohum will reuse batteries from MG electric vehicles in second-life Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) for “a wide variety of clean energy applications in India’s urban and rural landscape.”
The company says the initial offering as a result of this partnership will be a completely off-grid, 5kWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). This is designed to meet essential energy needs in urban and rural India.
Rajat Verma, founder and CEO of Lohum, said, “Through our expertise in battery material recycling and low-carbon refining, we will play a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient utilization of MG’s EV batteries.” Verma explained, “By repurposing these batteries as BESS, we contribute to making the clean energy transition circular and address the critical need for reliable power supply in community centres.”
The circular economy enabled by this partnership means that batteries have a first life in MG electric vehicles, have a second life in Lohum BESS off-grid power solutions before Lohum recycles the batteries and puts the raw materials back in the chain to become electric car batteries again. Lohum says the partnership should also support the organisation of the battery waste sector in India. In China, battery reuse and recycling industries are already big business.
Lohum describes itself as India’s largest Li-ion battery raw materials producer through recycling, reuse and low-carbon refining. The company’s stationary storage ranges from small systems of six kWh to 1 MWh storage systems. Lohum also offers a buy-back guarantee to recycle second-life batteries through its hydromet plant. Lohum is also collaborating with Mercedes-Benz on 2nd life batteries.
British-born MG Motor should have plenty of electric car batteries to supply for second-life applications. The company is owned by the Shanghai-based Chinese state-owned automaker SAIC Motor. MG Motor designs, develops and markets cars sold under the British MG marque, while vehicle manufacturing takes place at its plants in China, Thailand, and India. MG Motor India has fared well in the electric vehicle market in India so far.
As an international automotive giant, SAIC has its own battery raw materials supply chain for primary-use electric car batteries. Now the company can also count on recycled materials from Lohum. But primary resources to go into the battery life cycle loop in India, may not necessarily have to go via China in the future as India has its own significant lithium deposits.
MG Motor India and Lohum say they are championing the principles of the circular economy concept of “reducing, reusing, and recycling resources to create a closed-loop system, minimising waste and maximising sustainability.” In a world of limited resources, this system also maximises a secure supply of critical raw materials and ensures enduring business models.