Recovering the strategic metals contained in batteries at the end of the life of electric vehicles to limit the impact on resources and the environment: these are the challenges bringing together Groupe Renault, Veolia and Solvay.
It all started in Flins, Renault's oldest plant still in operation, where, in 2011, the industrial know-how to repair batteries was developed to extend their lifespan. Today, this expertise is spread across some twenty centres in 17 countries in Europe. With the Re-Factory project to convert the Flins plant into a site dedicated to the circular economy, the aim is to reach a capacity of 20,000 repairs by 2030.
But what if it were possible tomorrow to reconstitute new batteries from end-of-life batteries? This is the ambition that Groupe Renault, Veolia and Solvay, a leader in advanced chemistry, have set themselves by joining forces. By combining cutting-edge technologies, the extraction and purification processes for metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt will be optimized so that they can be reused in the manufacture of new batteries. This will close the loop and help reduce the environmental footprint of future electric vehicle batteries.
In keeping with the principle of the circular economy, the three partners are paving the way for a safer and more sustainable supply of strategic materials for batteries. The implementation of this closed circuit will help preserve natural resources and generate new sources of growth and competitiveness in Europe. This is a concrete commitment, as it involves the setting up of a pilot plant in France in the short term.