Volkswagen shows off a new way to recycle and reuse EV batteries

Transforming the world to run on electric vehicles will take millions of batteries, and even though the EV revolution has just kicked off, there’s growing questions about how to handle batteries at the end of their useful lives, and where all the materials needed to build new batteries will come from.

Earlier this year, the Volkswagen Group provided one answer to both these challenges, opening its first EV battery recycling plant in Salzgitter, Germany, the result of more than a decade of research.

Designed to be more energy efficient than current battery recycling techniques, the pilot plant has a goal of being able to recapture up to 95 percent of the materials in an EV battery pack for potential reuse – including rare metals that store electricity…

As EV batteries contain a complicated mix of materials, current battery recycling methods require essentially melting them down in a furnace, which only recovers about 60 percent of the materials inside.