🇫🇮 A lithium bomb in electric car batteries

Press release from Probot

December 11, 2023
475

Taustalla kuva sähköauton latauksesta, jonka päällä on RECIRCULATE-logo.

In November, a gathering took place in Barcelona, bringing together companies and research institutions from various parts of Europe involved in the Recirculate project. The event aimed to unite members of the EU project consortium, fostering networking and introducing participants to each other’s projects. The occasion shed light on the extensive challenges in the circular economy of electric vehicle (EV) or more comonly electric car batteries, marking Recirculate as a significant step towards practical solutions for these issues.

The Recirculate project, funded by the EU, addresses the most urgent challenges in Europe’s electric car battery recycling industry and the logistics of battery materials. The primary goal is to enhance the repair, reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling of electric car batteries. The three-year project, launched in April, involves several companies and research institutions, including Ford Otosan, Minespider, Eco Stor, Fundacio Eurecat, Libattion, DHL, Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection, Centria, CSEM, Iconiq Innovation Limited, and Iconiq Innovation Spain.

Serious issues in the circular economy of electric car batteries

Representatives from our team, Matti Tikanmäki, Maria Ruottinen, and Toni Autio, traveled to the consortium meeting held in November. In addition to networking, they had the opportunity to learn more about other projects under Recirculate and closely examine an EV manufacturer’s opened battery.

“The extent of the problems became clear at the event. Electric cars have been produced rapidly, and each manufacturer has developed its own batteries. Unlike traditional cars, circular economy aspects were not thoroughly considered for electric vehicles. Now, there’s a lithium time bomb brewing in electric cars,” remarked our CEO, Matti, with a serious tone.

The experts from companies and research institutions across Europe that are tackling with the problems in the circular economy of electric car batteries
The event brought together experts from companies and research institutions across Europe.

Robotics and AI revolutionize the disassembly of electric car batteries

Within the Recirculate project, we, along with Centria University of Applied Sciences, are exploring the best methods for conducting electric car battery condition assessments using automation, remotely controlled robotics, and sensor technology. During the project, we will also implement a battery disassembly and sorting cell in Ylivieska that utilizes these technologies.

“There will certainly be challenges in implementing the cell. The electric car batteries were not originally designed to be disassembled, so because of their structure and the way the different parts are attached, we will certainly spend a lot of time designing the robot gripper and tool in particular. We will also use AI to design the trajectories of the robot used in the cell,” explained Toni, robotics expert involved in the project.

Disassembling lithium electric car batteries also poses risks such as the release of gases from the cells, the danger of fire, and even the risk of spontaneous explosions. Disassembling batteries will not be a simple task.

The experts from companies and research institutions across Europe that are tackling with the problems in the circular economy of electric car batteries
Our automation engineer Toni Autio (pictured on the right) is part of the project as a robotics expert.

A significant step towards a more sustainable and safer EV battery recycling

The Recirculate project is proving to be a significant step towards a more sustainable and safer recycling of EV batteries. Despite the challenges, we are confident that the project will bring about innovations that will transform how we approach the disassembly of electric car batteries.

“In discussions with other consortium members, it was a pleasure to see the ambitious goals everyone has and how excited they are to work towards more sustainable solutions in the circular economy of electric vehicle batteries,” added Maria with a smile.

We are proud to participate in this European collaboration and look forward to what we can achieve together. Follow along with us as we track the progress of the project and future developments on our blog and social media channels!

More information about the project:

RECIRCULATE is funded by the European Union, grant agreement n° 101103972.

Follow the progress of the project on our social media channels:


Originally published on 4 December by Probot.

Announcements are published as a service to readers. The sender is responsible for all content.

Announcements for publication can be submitted to [email protected].