Volkswagen has started a project that will ultimately benefit both the environment and communities around the world, including our own Lewisville, Texas. Their goal: create an in-house, circular process in which more than 90 percent of their EV batteries is recycled.
When Stella Konietzko, a doctoral candidate at the Technical University of Braunschweig, wanted to investigate ways that lithium, cobalt, steel, and aluminum could be recovered, she invited Volkswagen Group to participate in the project. After years of research surrounding lithium ion recycling protocols, the project group selected the LithoRec process, which is being tested as part of Volkswagen’s pilot program.
As part of the circular economy, components of lithium ion batteries can be recovered and used to make new batteries. Volkswagen aims to recycle these raw materials, as well as reuse the batteries elsewhere after their first life cycles are complete. Since a normal car life cycle is between 200,000 to 300,000 kilometers, the battery can still be useful later on.
The pilot program at Volkswagen’s Salzgitter factory represents the start of a process that is economically and ecologically sustainable. This project will ultimately provide Lewisville Volkswagen and our customers with better, cleaner, and more efficient vehicles in the future.