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Tesla launches new battery recycling strategy

ABR Staff Writer Published 28 January 2011

Tesla Motors, a developer and manufacturer of EVs and EV powertrain components, has launched a new strategy to recycle its battery packs throughout Europe.

The company said that at the end of their long life, it will recycle the battery packs at Umicore's UHT facility in Belgium.

Umicore, a Brussels-based materials technology company, will use the expended pack material to produce an alloy that will be further refined into cobalt, nickel and other metals.

Prior to that, the company will transform the cobalt into high grade lithium cobalt oxide, which can be resold to battery manufacturers.

One of the few byproducts of their environmentally-friendly approach is a clean inertized slag containing calcium oxides and lithium that goes into the production of special grades concretes.

Umicore's battery recycling technology saves a minimum of 70% on CO2 emissions at the recovery and refining of these metals and so it can reduce the carbon footprint for the manufacturing of Lithium-Ion batteries.

Tesla director of energy storage systems Kurt Kelty said while they work to help lessen global dependence on petroleum-based transportation and drive down the cost of electric vehicles, they are also taking the lead in developing a closed loop battery recycling system.

The company said that the customers do not pay extra for recycling of the battery pack, which is expected to last 7-10 years or about 160,000 kilometers under normal use.