Audi and Umicore develop closed-loop battery recycling

Since the Audi A3 e-tron debuted, the four-ringed brand has been working one battery recycling. The brand’s engineers realized that most of its battery could be recycled into precious metals, which can then be used to develop more batteries. So Audi decided to work with Umicore to develop a closed-loop battery recycling system. And they two brands have just completed phase one of that development.

In laboratory tests, Audi learned that up to 95-percent of battery material can be recycled, recovering metals such as cobalt, nickel and copper. But the most important part of this new development between Audi and Umicore is the closed-loop nature of it. In such a system, all of those precious metals and other materials recovered from the batteries are then reused in new products.

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Not only does such a system reduced emissions and increase efficiency, as reusing batteries reduces CO2 production from the manufacturing of batteries, but it also reduces cost for Audi. The recycling of batteries into newer Audi products helps the brand cut costs and reduce the speed manufacturing.

“We want to be a pioneer and to promote recycling processes. This is also an element of our program to reduce CO2 emissions in procurement,” says Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management for Procurement and IT at Audi.

This is just another way Audi is trying to create a more sustainable future of electric mobility. Combine this closed-loop recycling with a CO2-free manufacturing plant in Brussels, where the e-tron is being made, and Audi is really trying to become as green and eco-friendly as possible. Which is a good sign for its future.

As costs continue to drop for Audi, especially now that it will have the e-tron in production, it’s entirely possible that we see prices becoming discounted on future electric cars. Which would bring more customers into electric cars.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.