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Developing the UK's first supply chain for repurposing and recycling lithium ion car batteries

Connected energy battery storage system, E0STOR. Image courtesy of Connected Energy
Connected Energy second-life battery energy storage system, E-STOR.
Image courtesy of Connected Energy.

As the world is decarbonising, the automotive industry is electrifying.

Demand for electric vehicles is growing strongly and so too is the need for the batteries to power them.

All batteries eventually reach end of life and need repurposing or recycling.

Currently most batteries are shipped outside the UK for processing. Not only is this financially costly, it's also wasteful: batteries contain valuable precious metals which can be recovered and reused in the UK electric vehicle supply chain.

How is HSE helping?

HSE Research and Consultancy is a partner in the RECOVAS project which will introduce a new circular supply chain for electric vehicle batteries in the UK, by developing the infrastructure to collect and recycle electric vehicles and their batteries.

EMR Metals Recycling, a world leading metal recycler, will oversee the project, with input from a number of other partners including three major vehicle manufacturers; Bentley Motors, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, the University of Warwick, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Autocraft Solutions Group, Connected Energy, which repurpose electric car batteries and uRecycle, which will develop the UK's first commercial scale recycling facility for automotive battery packs.

Scientists in HSE's Battery Safety team will provide expertise in battery safety hazard and risk management as well as regulatory risk management insight to the partners who are developing operations, procedures and processes for recovering, handling, processing and storing lithium-ion battery materials.

What do we want to find out?

The project will lead to the creation of processes, design guidelines and a physical pilot facility to recover vehicle batteries, allowing packs and materials to be re-used or recycled.

It will develop a process for the analysis of used batteries, directing them to the most appropriate recycling stream - from pack and cell re-use to recycling of materials.

It will also define the requirements for recyclability to be designed into future vehicle battery packs.

The project is part funded by the UK Government's Advanced Propulsion Centre and commenced in January 2021. It will run for 3 years, by which time the partners expect the circular supply chain to be operating commercially.

If you would like to know more about our battery safety capabilty or how HSE Bespoke Research and Consultancy could help with the safe introduction of similar technologies, please contact Stuart Hawksworth -

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