Expected to have a capacity of 2,500 tonnes per year, the pilot battery recycling plant will be built in two stages

Mercedes-Benz etabliert nachhaltiges Batterierecycling: Eigene Recyclingfabrik startet 2023Mercedes-Benz establishes sustainable battery recycling: Own recycling plant to start in 2023

Illustration of Mercedes-Benz’ own lithium-ion battery recycling plant. (Credit: Mercedes-Benz Group AG)

Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to build its own lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Germany as part of the luxury vehicle manufacturer’s efforts to expand its global battery recycling strategy.

The plant will be based on mechanical/hydrometallurgical process, which is said to fully dispense with energy-intensive and material-consuming pyrometallurgical process steps.

Mercedes-Benz claimed that hydrometallurgy technology could help increase the recycling rate to more than 96%.

Its CO2-neutral recycling plant will be built at the company’s location in Kuppenheim, southern Germany.

Mercedes-Benz will invest a double-digit million amount in euros in research and development and in the construction of the pilot plant. The project is slated to begin in 2023.

Expected to have an annual capacity of 2,500 tonnes, the pilot battery recycling plant will be built in two stages.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the recovered materials will be fed back into the recycling loop to manufacture over 50,000 battery modules for new Mercedes-EQ models.

Mercedes-Benz Group production and supply chain management board of management member Jörg Burzer said: “Mercedes-Benz is pursuing a clear goal with a view to conserving resources: a maximum circular economy for all raw materials used.

“Sustainable battery recycling is a key factor in this – worldwide. With our new recycling plant at the Kuppenheim location, we are increasing the recycling rate to more than 96 percent while expanding our own expertise in the area of battery value creation.

“Through targeted collaborative ventures with high-tech partners in China and the U.S., we are globalising our battery recycling strategy and taking a decisive step toward closing the recycling loop in e-mobility.”

Mercedes-Benz has established a fully-owned subsidiary called LICULAR for establishing the pilot facility for the recycling of lithium-ion battery systems.

LICULAR is expected to cooperate with Primobius for the conceptual design and construction of the facilities. Primobius, which is the technology partner of Mercedes-Benz, will provide the required technological expertise, that include the relevant preliminary investigations.

The battery recycling plant will get scientific support from the research institutes of the Technical Universities of Clausthal and Berlin and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Mercedes-Benz has been planning to invest over €60bn from 2022 to 2026 for transforming itself into a software-driven and emissions-free future.