Mercedes-Benz starts building its own battery recycling plant
As Mercedes-Benz looks to incorporate sustainability as an integral part of its corporate strategy, the company is starting to build its own battery recycling plant in Germany. The company is looking at forming a closed loop of recyclable materials and reducing resource consumption. Thus, it is expanding its recycling strategy with a view to return lithium-ion battery systems from Mercedes-EQ vehicles.
The company's battery recycling plant will be based on on hydrometallurgy, and analogous to this technology, the company plans to close the recyclable material loop with high-tech partners for battery recycling in China and the US. "With our new recycling plant at the Kuppenheim location, we are increasing the recycling rate to more than 96 percent while expanding our own expertise in the area of battery value creation," said Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain Management.
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For its battery recycling strategy, Mercedes has founded LICULAR GmbH as a wholly owned subsidiary, which will cooperate with the technology partner Primobius for technological know-how. Mercedes is investing a double-digit million euro amount in research and development, as well as in the construction of the CO2-neutral pilot plant in southern Germany. "The pilot factory at the Kuppenheim location marks the Mercedes-Benz Group's entry into the important field of battery recycling, and will make the company more independent of raw material supplies in the future," said Michael Brecht, Chairman of the Works Council of the Mercedes-Benz plants in Gaggenau and Kuppenheim.
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Construction of the plant will take place in two stages. Initially, a plant for mechanical dismantling will be constructed by 2023 and then, the facilities for hydrometallurgical processing of the battery materials are to go into operation. The pilot plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 2,500 tonnes. The recovered materials will be put back into the recycling loop to produce more than 50,000 battery modules for new Mercedes-EQ models.