Honda working to expand battery recycling
Closed-loop supply chain crucial to lowering environmental impact
Honda has announced a new agreement that will help it get EV battery materials from recycled packs.
The deal is with US-based Ascend Elements, a company that specialises in recycling the materials that go into EV batteries so that they can be re-used to make new EV batteries. The company says it starts by removing the battery plastics then shredding the cells. The resulting mass is made up of a blend of materials like lithium, graphite, cobalt, and manganese.
Ascend then processes the material to extract the graphite from the mass. Using what it calls a proprietary “hydro-to-cathode” process, Ascend is able to turn the remaining materials into new battery cathode materials without separating all of the other materials first. Ascend says this takes much less time and uses much less energy than traditional battery recycling methods.
Honda has been using Ascend to recycle lithium-ion batteries since 2021. The new basic agreement will help it create a closed-loop battery supply chain, the company says. The recycling would take place at a new plant near Honda’s Ohio factories.
This agreement would play a part in Honda’s “Triple Action to Zero” concept, where the automaker says it will focus on carbon neutrality, clean energy, and resource circulation to help lower its environmental impact to zero by 2050.