Stellantis, Orano Partner for EV Battery Recycling

Minerals recovered in Orano's battery recycling process

(Credit: Orano)

by | Oct 26, 2023

Stellantis and Orano are partnering to recycle end-of-life electric vehicle batteries and scrap from European and North American gigafactories.

The joint effort will use Orano’s low-carbon processing technology, which recovers all materials used in lithium-ion batteries and then manufactures them into new cathode materials. The process reportedly has a 90% metals recovery rate, with metals broken down and made into a raw material called black mass. Orano is then able to use its hydrometallurgy technology to refine the materials to be reused in new batteries.

The new partnership will help meet the EU 2031 battery directive, the companies said, which includes requirements for recovering materials from end-of-life batteries.

“We are delighted with this partnership with a major player such as Stellantis to work together in the recycling of used electric batteries,” said Guillaume Dureau, group director of innovation, research and development, and nuclear medicine, magnets, and batteries at Orano. “We are proud to bring our expertise and know-how with our innovative and disruptive process which allows a real closed loop. Orano continues its commitment to developing a low-carbon economy with the recycling of strategic materials for the energy transition and the circular economy.”

The partnership also contributes to Stellantis’ goal of increasing recycling revenue by 10 times, hoping to achieve more than $2.1 billion in circular economy revenue by 2030, according to its Dare Forward 2030 plan. The automaker also aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2038.

Battery Recycling Supplements EV Market Growth

Orano, mainly known for its nuclear expertise, has moved into battery recycling as the industry becomes increasingly necessary for supporting EV market development.

The International Energy Agency expects nearly 10 times the current amount of EVs to be on the road worldwide by 2030. With rapidly increasing demand for battery materials such as cobalt, nickel, and lithium, battery recycling has been identified as a viable, long-term strategy for meeting critical minerals demand and for disposing of batteries without causing environmental damage. Battery recycling may also contribute to keeping materials costs down, therefore helping EV prices remain affordable.

Stellantis’ and Orano’s commercial recycling project will begin production in the first part of 2026. Stellantis plans to reuse existing assets and facilities for the project, including investment toward reskilling Stellantis and Orano employees for the new development.

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