Are We EV-Ready Yet?

May 1, 2024 | Electric Vehicles, Industry

Automotive Recycling presents its annual showcase of the latest and greatest EV initiatives in the automotive recycling space.

By Caryn Smith

New technologies and innovative products can keep any industry fresh. And the innovation and subsequent influx of electric vehicles (EVs) into the country’s transportation market – albeit slow – is no exception. Dozens of companies, including some of the automotive recycling industry’s most well-known entities, are paying close attention to the new technology and how this growing market will affect their enterprises. While automotive recyclers – both large and small – are continually enhancing and expanding their products, processes, and electric vehicle know-how, they are also aware that EVs may change the way they do business. In doing so, they are determining what type of EV infrastructure, products and processes they may need to incorporate into their business structure.

This year we are incorporating companies that have embraced EVs in a myriad of ways to give recyclers a resource as this new avenue within the auto recycling industry continues to emerge.

ARA members can use this roundup to familiarize themselves with both well-established and new companies that have entered the auto recycling fold. This guide is intended to be a “go to” source for products and services that meet the needs of evolving EV recycling segment of the industry.

American Battery Technology Company (ABTC), headquartered in Reno, Nevada, has pioneered first-of-kind technologies to unlock domestically manufactured and recycled battery metals critically needed to help meet the significant demand from the electric vehicle, stationary storage, and consumer electronics industries. Committed to a circular domestic supply chain for battery metals, ABTC works to continually innovate and master new battery metals technologies that power a transition to electrification and the future of sustainable energy.

ABTC has pioneered a closed-loop battery recycling process that separates and recovers critical materials from end-of-life batteries. The company’s commercial recycling facility located in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is designed to utilize our uniquely pioneered recycling process, which realizes greater net benefits than current conventional methods. These include reduction of waste, conservation of natural resources including water, decreased air pollution when compared to conventional methods associated with smelting, increased operational efficiencies, higher material recovery rates, and capture of battery grade materials with no degradation of quality compared to conventional virgin sourced materials.

The company accepts batteries in all form factors, including packs, modules, and cells, and many lithium-ion cathode chemistries, such as NCA, LCO, NA, and others. ABTC also can accept and process hazardous waste materials including damaged, defective, or recalled batteries. For more information, contact a member of the ABTC recycling sourcing team.

Contact: Doug Hamilton – Feedstock Sourcing Manager at email dhamilton@batterymetals.com

Cirba Solutions is the most comprehensive battery recycling materials’ processor, taking batteries at end-of-life, processing them to extract critical minerals, and supplying them back into the supply chain. With more than 30 years of experience and six operational facilities in North America, this solidifies them as the industry leader.

Processing is a core and proven capability of Cirba Solutions and the technologies leveraged by them provide flexibility and adaptability to meet the changing market needs. Cirba Solutions has a comprehensive collective network where they partner with businesses, municipalities, battery products, and automotive OEMs such as Toyota, to gather end-of-life batteries from EVs, production scrap, consumer electronics, and other energy storage systems. Collected materials undergo rigorous sorting based on type, chemistry, and condition.

Cirba Solutions utilizes hydrometallurgy processing, removing the need for high temperatures and producing fewer emissions compared to conventional solutions. This state-of-the-art, proven hydrometallurgical processing, facilitates the purification of recovered materials to pure metals for incorporation back into the supply chain. They also prioritize responsible management of the by-products and residual waste materials created.

To increase battery recycling efficiency and reduce environmental impact, Cirba Solutions actively collaborates with battery manufacturers and all major OEMs to establish closed-loop recycling systems. Owning the process from pick-up, to processing, to reintegration allows manufacturers to reuse critical minerals from batteries. Key processing locations are strategically located within the U.S. battery belt near gigafactories and major battery manufacturing producers. Through domestic sourcing, Cirba Solutions can reduce up to 48,000 miles in logistical costs, enhancing the economic vitality of recycling operations.

Due to Cirba Solutions’ continuous research and development, they optimize their resource recovery process to maximize the yield of valuable metals from recycled batteries.

Cirba Solutions is a trusted and complete service provider in the sustainable battery materials industry, and has an unwavering commitment to innovation, sustainability, and environmental stewardship, which is exemplified through its excellence in battery recycling.

Contact: Danielle Spalding at email dspalding@cirbasolutions.com or via phone, 740-653-6290.

In 2023, the U.S. reached a significant milestone with more than one million EV sales, marking about 8% of all new vehicle sales and representing a nearly 50 percent increase from 2022. This surge in electric vehicle adoption, boosted by historic federal policies and incentives, led to over $150 billion in private investment, ramping up battery production capabilities in North America. Industry forecasts remain strong, with expectations of over 10% annual growth through 2030.

At the same time, the first wave of EVs retiring from roads is meeting an evolving policy landscape and heightened battery management demands. In 2024, forecasts predict 250,000 electrified vehicles will reach end-of-life. Equipping automotive dismantlers to efficiently navigate this landscape and prepare for fleet changes is crucial to ensure sustainability, preserve industry jobs, and avoid unnecessary costs that could inhibit EV adoption.

Founded by Tesla’s co-founder and former CTO, JB Straubel, Redwood Materials set out to transform the battery industry by recycling, refining, and remanufacturing battery materials for a sustainable and clean energy future. By closing the loop on the battery life cycles, Redwood is localizing a global battery supply chain and producing anode and cathode components in the U.S. for the first time – from as many recycled batteries as possible.

Last year, Redwood Materials launched an online portal designed for automotive dismantlers to value and sell recovered electric vehicle battery packs directly to Redwood – a process that ensures a frictionless, safe, and responsible approach to end-of-life battery management. With just a couple of clicks, dismantlers can receive an instant offer for their EV battery packs, eliminating uncertainty and ensuring a clear valuation upfront. After accepting a sale, Redwood oversees the transportation and logistics, integrating advanced tracking and management systems. This approach ensures each battery is appropriately valued and prepared for responsible recycling.

By equipping dismantlers across the U.S. with this tool, Redwood is actively enhancing the sustainability of our battery supply chain and integrating end-of-life EV battery management into everyday practice. Redwood is committed to making EV battery recycling easier, safer, and more transparent for automotive dismantlers nationwide.

For more information, contact the Redwood team at evbattery@redwoodmaterials.com.

ReJoule is an advanced battery diagnostic company with the mission of creating a circular economy by enabling reuse, remanufacturing, and repurposing of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). ReJoule has pioneered an advanced battery testing technique to accurately, quickly, and reliably determine a battery’s state of health. ReJoule’s cutting-edge technology can test batteries at any point in its lifecycle. It can plug into the DC fast-charging port of a BEV to provide rapid and accurate testing of traction batteries that are inside vehicles or after batteries have been removed from vehicles at the pack, module, or cell level. It has been validated by customers on multiple continents.

There is an existing, and highly successful, automotive recycling and dismantling infrastructure. The ability to easily and reliably test BEVs and batteries through a technology such as ReJoule’s is essential to supporting a thriving used BEV market. Application of ReJoule’s diagnostics technology provides valuable insights to accurately define BEV residual values and ensure highest and best use (e.g., reuse, repair, recondition, repurpose, etc).

ReJoule’s diagnostic technology employs electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to estimate the degradation of a battery through its complex impedance. This enables a test time reduction from hours to less than five minutes. ReJoule’s hardware product is coupled with machine learning algorithms to correlate a battery’s complex impedance to its state of health achieving 98% accuracy. See a one minute virtual demo on our website: rejouleenergy.com/our-technology.

To learn more about ReJoule and actively engage in the battery circular economy, please contact Dave Mauer, Director of Business Development at ReJoule at dmauer@rejouleenergy.com or via phone, 312-351-5180.

The projected number of electric vehicles (EV) on the road might not turn out to be as high as previously expected, but battery-powered cars and trucks are here to stay. Everyone in the automotive recycling, salvage, and parts industry need to prepare to face the challenge of dealing with lithium-ion EV batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) can be dangerous because they contain a huge amount of energy – enough to propel some vehicles from zero to 60 MPH in under two seconds. They are very difficult to fully discharge. Even when you might think that the battery you have in your yard is “dead,” there’s a good chance it still contains trace amounts of energy.

These batteries can overheat and short-circuit the battery cell. When a lithium-ion battery cell short-circuits, the flammable electrolyte inside can combust and cause a rapid increase in pressure. This could lead to a chain reaction called thermal runaway.

Thermal runaway is a chain reaction that occurs when a lithium-ion battery overheats. The battery itself enters an uncontrollable state of self-heating – it overheats itself over and over, getting hotter each time. The cell itself generates exponentially more heat than the battery can get rid of causing the battery to overheat until the battery emits a dangerous gas or smoke and ultimately catches fire. Unlike with a small lithium-ion cell phone battery, you can’t throw a 1500+ pound lithium-ion EV battery into the toilet to quickly cool the battery down.

How do you protect your staff and facilities and stay safe? Preparation is key – keep the batteries in a cool, dry, low traffic space away from combustibles. Make sure to have the proper fire protection in place. Train your staff to be aware of the dangers of Lithium-ion batteries, how to handle them properly, and what to do in an emergency. And if the budget allows, invest in a FLIR gun thermometer or thermal camera to detect temperature increases before the rupture and fires occur.

The Interco Critical Mineral Recovery™ facility is one of the largest lithium-ion battery recycling plants in the world – www.criticalmineralrecovery.com. Lithium-ion batteries from across the Americas and as far as Europe are delivered to the CMR facility daily.

The plant has a total capacity of 5-6,000 tons per month with the ability to discharge and disassemble 200 EV packs, 1,350 modules, and another 60 tons of consumer electronics batteries each day. The facility converts batteries into a mixed metal concentrate (black mass) with the highest recovery rates and lowest contamination levels (Al, Cu, & H2O) found in North America. This quality allows us to sell to hydrometallurgical refineries at premiums and pass value along to Interco suppliers.

Contact: Bob Shallenberger at bobs@intercotradingco.com or via phone, 618-501-0232.

Are you a car dealer, recycler, fleet manager or energy storage company with spent Lithium-ion batteries on your hands? Lithion’s recycling program is your solution!

From collection to processing, Lithion’s recycling program is a reliable turnkey solution. Lithion offers a safe, all-in-one solution for recovering and recycling Lithium-ion batteries from electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars. The best part: you could be compensated for those batteries.

Submit your pickup and recycling request in just a few clicks via our dedicated online portal and quickly receive a quote. Our team of qualified EV batteries logistic professionals will then ensure the safe handling and transportation of your batteries across Canada and the Northeastern United States.

Lithion’s recycling operations realize battery material circularity. Lithion Saint-Bruno, the first critical mineral extraction facility of Lithion Technologies, is now in operation near Montreal, Canada. Ready to serve both Canadian and Northeastern U.S. markets, this plant is Lithion Technologies’ first major step towards establishing the circularity of EV battery materials.

At full capacity, this plant will annually process over 20,000 tons of Lithium-ion batteries and non-conforming materials from cell and battery manufacturing, to produce black mass. This capacity, equivalent to recycling 45,000 cars, will significantly reduce the environmental impact of electrification while strengthening the efforts of its strategic partners in promoting local and sustainable battery materials.

Submit a recycling request for one or more batteries at batteries.lithiontechnologies.com and receive a quote!

Pioneers in the development of fully circular lithium-ion battery materials, Lithion’s mechanical extraction and hydrometallurgy technologies enable the recovery of up to 95% of battery components, with a drastically smaller environmental footprint than mining. Our complete solution makes the energy transition truly sustainable by keeping these minerals in the battery supply chain.

To find out more, visit www.lithiontechnologies.com. Lead-acid batteries from internal combustion engines, and nickel-cadmium batteries are not accepted in our recycling program.

Contact: Marie Line Paquet at ml.paquet@lithiontechnologies.com or via phone, 514-353-4008 x264.

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