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South Korea launches four-year lithium-ion battery reuse scheme

Thu, 02/18/2021 - 15:18 -- Paul Crompton

South Korea has launched a four-year lithium-ion battery technology development project to ensure used batteries are either recycled or used in second-life applications.

The country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the 13 billion won ($11.7 million) project would develop battery management systems (BMSs) with increased stability, mobile battery packs, and demonstrate megawatt-hour scale energy storage systems (ESSs) using second-life batteries.

The project follows the government's decision to ease regulations, to accelerate the recycling and reuse of old batteries, as the country looks to increase EV sales from 113,000 to more than one million by 2025.

In October, the trade ministry partnered with nine companies including Hyundai Glovis, the logistics wing of Hyundai's auto group, chemicals firm LG Chem, carmaker Hyundai Motor, and car-scrapping service GoodByeCar to begin new recycling businesses that will process discarded EV batteries.

Hyundai Glovis will partner with KST Mobility, a taxi service company, to start a battery rental service for electric taxis. 

LG Chem will collect used batteries to build ESSs. GoodByeCar will produce portable battery packs, known as power banks, using discarded EV batteries. 

In September, Hyundai Motor Group and SK Innovation announced plans to cooperate in order to seek solutions that can maximise value and eco-friendliness of EV batteries.

This will include reuse of used EV batteries in applications such as energy storage systems, and battery recycling that recovers metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt.

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