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Volkswagen unveils plan to recycle EV batteries

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BERLIN (Scrap Register): German automaker Volkswagen has announced plans to build its first center for electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling at its facility in Salzgitter, Germany.

The plant is expected to open next year, according to the company, and will be able to recycle 1,200 tons of EV batteries per year initially.

Using a special shredder, the individual battery parts can be ground, the liquid electrolyte can be cleaned off and the components separated into black powder, which contains materials such as cobalt, lithium, manganese and nickel, Volkswagen said.

These materials then just have to be separated individually, after which they are immediately available again for the production of new batteries, the company said.

In the long term, Volkswagen said it plans to recycle about 97% of all raw materials found in the battery packs. Presently, about 53% of the battery is recycled, and Volkswagen’s Salzgitter plant expects that to increase to 72%.

Volkswagen said it plans to add decentralized recycling plants in the coming years.

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