GM, Cirba Solutions Extend Battery Recycling Partnership

EV Battery Recycling

(Credit: General Motors)

by | Nov 2, 2022

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EV Battery Recycling

(Credit: General Motors)

General Motors and Cirba Solutions have extended their existing electric vehicle battery recycling agreement, building on an effort that has already seen more than 1 million pounds of batteries recycled.

The partnership calls for Cirba Solutions to recycle lithium-ion battery and cell scrap generated by manufacturing and research at certain GM facilities through 2024. The companies first teamed up in 2021 and expect to process even more materials as electric vehicle production expands as they look to increase the number of reusable materials that entered back into the supply chain.

Cirba Solutions is a battery management company that disassembles, and processes used materials and re-enter them into the supply chain. The company has two active lithium-ion processing facilities and is planning another in Arizona, which will be able to process enough battery materials for 50,000 electric vehicles a year.

A Yahoo report estimates there are nearly 2 million electric vehicles currently on the road in the United States, and the Edison Electric Institute predicts that the number will increase to 26.4 million by 2030. That will significantly increase the need for battery recycling over time.

Lithium-ion battery retirement is expected to be as much as 73,000 tons in 2025, according to a Science Direct report. That number increases to more than 400,000 tons in 2030 and as high as 8.5 million tons by 2050.

That has automakers and battery recycling companies ramping up their infrastructure to reuse materials from old batteries.

GM, which has several sustainability and energy projects taking place, including using all renewable energy and creating a new energy technology business, recently invested in another battery recycling venture. The deal with Lithion Recycling is focusing on recovering materials for new battery production as well as researching new recycling processes and battery designs.

Toyota, Ford, and Volvo have North American battery recycling deals with Redwood Materials. The recycler receives more than 6 gigawatts of batteries a year and reproduces the anode and cathode materials from the batteries for new battery production.

Outside of the US, Mercedes-Benz is building a recycling facility in Germany that will have the capacity to recycle 2,500 metric tons of batteries per year. Overall, the transportation battery recycling market is expected to be valued at $10 billion by the end of the decade, according to a Research Drive report.

Cirba Solutions also recently received a $75 million grant as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to boost its capacity for recycling lithium-ion batteries. The company says it will use the funds to upgrade its mineral processing facility in Ohio, which will have the capacity to produce enough materials to power more than 200,000 electric vehicles each year. Cirba Solutions says it plans to increase its lithium-ion processing capacity by 600% over the next few years.

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