The EV trend is pushing forward, but there is an issue inching closer. What are we to do with the batteries that are running out of energy for good? To solve this issue, Mercedes-Benz is building a battery recycling factory in Germany.
The construction kicks off in Kuppenheim, southern Germany. It is a pilot program with an annual capacity of 2,000 tons. Used batteries from test cars and start-up batteries will enter the manufacturing process, resulting in more than 50,000 battery modules for new electric Mercedes-EQ models.
Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection funds the scientific research project. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz is investing a double-digit million euro sum in the construction of the plant.
Experts will analyze the results of the pilot program. Afterward, they will decide if the production should be ramped up or not in the future hydrometallurgy pilot plant in the medium to long term.
Mechanical dismantling represents the first stage of the program and it should start in December, even before the completion of the production center.
The facility in Kuppenheim is an already CO2- neutral one. Solar panels and other various green sources provide the necessary electricity.
“We are sending an important signal of innovative strength in Baden-Württemberg and Germany for sustainable electromobility,” said Jörg Burzer, management board member of Mercedes-Benz in production and supply chain management.
The innovative facility will be the first of its kind in Europe. And it is yet another step to a complete carbon dioxide neutral production and all-electric lineup.
The range of the carmaker currently includes several zero-emission models. The EQA compact car, the EQB crossover available in five- and seven-seat versions, the EQC and EQS, with the latter also springing an SUV version. Mercedes is planning to offer an all-electric lineup before 2035. It is the deadline the European Commission has set for the sale of the ICEs.