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DOE to award $37M to reduce EV battery recycling costs

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $37 million in funding (DE-FOA-0003120) to reduce costs associated with recycling electric vehicle (EV) batteries. This funding opportunity is the second phase of $200 million in total provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for electric drive vehicle battery recycling and second life applications.

Through this $200-million program, DOE aims to tackle three main strategic objectives:

  1. Advance the development of recycling processes and the requalification of resultant recycled material into the battery supply chain;

  2. Establish demonstration projects to understand and validate real-world performance and potential for deploying spent electric drive vehicle batteries for second-life applications outside of the automotive industry; and

  3. Improve the economics of battery recycling to enable an industrial ecosystem in which entities can be economically profitable.

The first FOA supporting this section of the BIL (section 40208), awarded nearly $74 million7 towards ensuring that highly efficient battery recycling processes and second life applications are in place to scale up and support the domestic battery supply chain, in pursuit of the first and second strategic objectives.

However, large-scale adoption of battery recycling by industry requires a more economically appealing model than is generally achieved through current battery recycling practices due to significant costs associated with transporting and disassembling end-of-life (EOL) lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, DOE said.

This new FOA pursues the third strategic objective and provides approximately $37 million to reduce the costs associated with transportation, dismantling, and preprocessing of end-of-life electric drive vehicle batteries for recycling, as well as recycling of plastic and polymer electric drive vehicle battery accessory components through research, development, and demonstration.

Currently, EV battery recycling is subject to inflated costs due to difficulties associated with handling and safety concerns, and improvements to these areas will have cascading benefits for the recycling ecosystem. This FOA supports innovative technologies and processes that reduce the cost of battery recycling to achieve scale-up and profitability. Future FOAs will subsequently aim to address gaps in EV battery recycling and second-life applications that become apparent through execution of the first and current FOAs.

Concept papers are due on 7 February 2024, and full applications are due 19 April 2024.


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