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BMW Group creates closed recycling loop for high-voltage batteries in China

BMW Group creates closed recycling loop for high-voltage batteries in China

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The BMW Brilliance Automotive three way partnership (BBA) has established a closed loop for reuse of the uncooked supplies nickel, lithium and cobalt from high-voltage batteries which might be now not appropriate to be used in electrical autos. The batteries come from totally and partially-electric growth autos, check programs and manufacturing rejects and, sooner or later, additionally from end-of-life autos.

On this approach, the corporate is laying the inspiration for a pioneering materials cycle, which is turning into more and more necessary as e-mobility ramps up. To comprehend this, BBA is working with a neighborhood recycler (Huayou Recycling) that dismantles retired batteries and makes use of revolutionary expertise to get well a excessive share of the uncooked supplies nickel, lithium and cobalt from the battery cells.

Automated and exact dismantling of BMW high-voltage batteries at Huayou Recycling.


The uncooked supplies obtained on this approach are then utilized in manufacturing of recent battery cells for the BMW Group. The closed-loop materials cycle conserves assets and, on the similar time, reduces CO2 emissions by 70%, in comparison with utilizing newly extracted major materials.

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Huayou Recycling’s autoclave leaching vessel considerably enhances the leaching price of core uncooked supplies.


In mild of the rising shortage of finite assets and rising commodity costs, it’s particularly necessary to push ahead with the round financial system, enhance the proportion of reusable supplies and scale back our dependence on uncooked supplies. The BMW Group will increase its recycling idea in China sooner or later—which won’t solely contribute to environmental safety, but in addition successfully assist China’s transition to a low-CO2 financial system.

—Jochen Goller, head of BMW Group Area China

China is the world’s largest marketplace for electrical autos. With the fast growth of this market since 2015, the automotive battery recycling trade has additionally skilled quick progress. The China Automotive Know-how and Analysis Centre expects the entire quantity of retired batteries in China to succeed in round 780,000 tonnes by 2025. On the similar time, costs for home uncooked supplies for high-voltage batteries have elevated sharply since final yr.

Regardless of the difficult setting, the BMW Group was in a position to triple its gross sales of fully-electric autos in China within the first quarter of this yr alone. Alongside the BMW iX and BMW i4 fashions, the BMW iX3 additionally contributed to this enhance. Since April, an all-electric model of the BMW 3 Collection supplied solely in China has strengthened the portfolio, adopted by the brand new BMW i7 within the second half of this yr.

China’s present insurance policies require a high-voltage battery tracing system to be established to make sure batteries might be tracked and recycled as soon as retired. The BMW Group has developed a system for this, with coding that allows seamless traceability of batteries all through their lifecycle. The coding ensures batteries from your complete worth chain, from preliminary check autos to autos already available in the market, might be professionally recycled.

As soon as returned, the batteries are evaluated for potential continued use. The BMW Group started utilizing end-of-life batteries with a excessive residual capability in forklift vans at BBA crops in China again in 2020. The plan is for these “second-life functions” for batteries to be expanded, going ahead, to incorporate pallet lifting vans and stationary power storage models with charging capabilities.

If end-of-life batteries don’t meet the factors for second use, they’re recycled. The nickel, lithium and cobalt uncooked supplies obtained on this approach are channelled into manufacturing of recent battery cells for the BMW Group. A battery with a capability of 100 kWh incorporates, on common, nearly 90 kg of nickel, lithium and cobalt; with nickel accounting for many of this quantity.

Already right this moment, the BMW Group makes use of secondary nickel within the high-voltage batteries of the BMW iX.

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