Munich-based climate tech startup tozero and Huayou Recycling are partnering for the recycling of battery waste in Europe. The partnership is intended to have a significant impact on the region’s battery industry, addressing the challenges posed by the growing electrification of the European eMobility landscape and the accompanying surge in battery waste.
Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Huayou Recycling will supply tozero with battery waste from end-of-life EV batteries and battery production scrap. tozero’s recycling plant in Munich, operational since April 2023, will utilize this input to recover all critical raw materials necessary for the production of new batteries. The two companies will also jointly explore the potential of leveraging their respective recycling technologies to serve their customer base with a closed-loop battery material solution to reduce the environmental footprint of new batteries significantly.
Current market projections indicate a monumental twenty-fold increase in Lithium-Ion battery (LiB) production by 2030, accompanied by a daunting 740% surge in battery waste from 2022 to 2030. This growth presents a formidable challenge for sustainability efforts.
Anticipated global lithium shortages of 52% by 2030, coupled with increasing social and geopolitical pressure, necessitate the European battery industry to seek alternative local sources of critical raw materials to maintain production targets and achieve the overarching goal to reach net zero.
tozero and Huayou will continue their investments to bolster the availability of necessary critical materials for the production of batteries in Europe over the coming decade. By 2027 tozero will operate Europe’s largest battery recycling facility with an annual capacity to recycle 90,000t of lithium-ion batteries enabling the provision of 6,000t of locally sourced lithium.
Simultaneously, Huayou Cobalt, the parent company of Huayou Recycling, is allocating a substantial investment of €1.5 billion to establish its first European cathode active material (CAM) production facility in Hungary to serve its local customer base.
Huayou Recycling—the recycling division of Huayou Cobalt, one of the largest EV lithium-ion battery material producers in the world—operates recycling facilities all over the world. Having recycling plants with 65,000-ton battery waste treatment capacity, Huayou Recycling has established in-depth partnerships with BMW, Volkswagen, LG Energy Solution, POSCO, Envision and many other well-known OEMs and battery manufacturers worldwide, and has built up joint ventures with LG Energy Solution and POSCO for lithium-ion battery recycling.