Vehicle OEM Mercedes-Benz, a subsidiary of Daimler, is planning the construction of a battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, Germany.
Start of operations is planned for 2023, depending on the outcome of discussions with public authorities.
The plan is part of the German firm’s ‘closing the loop’ philosophy to recover raw materials at the end of a battery’s life.
Mercedes already ensures the battery housings, cables and the power rails can be recycled, and is involved in the research and development of new recycling technologies and their establishment on the market.
Part of the work involves working with specialised partner companies, and participating in funding and research projects focused on the reuse of raw materials.
Mercedes-Benz said it will go all electric by the end of the decade— with the caveat “where market conditions allow”.
Next year, Mercedes-Benz will have battery electric vehicles in all segments the company serves and, from 2025 onwards, all newly launched vehicle architectures will be electric-only.
Ongoing battery research
Last year, Mercedes-Benz announced plans to research ways to design cobalt and other “critical” materials like lithium out of lithium-ion batteries.
The OEM is looking at a variety of post-lithium-ion batteries— mainly based on manganese— that use less critical resources, as it investigates ways of increasing the energy density of its technology.