Today in Salzgitter, Volkswagen Group Components has opened its first recycling plant for electric vehicle batteries.
The Volkswagen Group has a goal to achieve a recycling rate of over 90% for their electric vehicle batteries. To achieve such a high percentage, the plant analyses each battery before it is recycled. It determines if the battery still has enough power and if it can be used in mobile energy storage systems. If it doesn’t, it is recycled.
Currently, the plant can recycle up to 3,600 battery systems every year, which is more than 1,600 tons. Until the late 2020s, it is not expected to process larger quantities. However, as the recycling process is optimized, it can increase its volume over time.
To achieve an industrialized recovery of raw materials, a blast furnace is not used. Instead, the plant discharges and dismantles the batteries. Specialized partners use hydrometallurgical processes – water and chemicals – to separate individual substances.
These essential components are then used to create recycled materials, which are just as good as new materials.
To take another step towards its sustainable end-to-end responsibility, the Volkswagen Group intends to support its battery production with recovered materials.