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Orano invests in battery recycling

Electric car battery

Orano is a French company specializing in the fuel business, but in 2019 it has decided to invest 30 million over three years with several companies in electric battery recycling. A project located in France, in the Haute-Vienne region, which is very interesting, promising and supported by French and international companies: CEA, Saft, MTB Manufacturing and Paprec.

Knowing that electric cars are increasingly numerous on the French market with 239,486 electric cars registered from January to September 2022, revealed Avere France. In 2021, 162,114 electric cars were sold in France. Yet we're only at the beginning of the electric car era.

Especially with President Emmanuel Macron's recent announcement of a target of one million electric cars produced in France by 2027. As well as the International Energy Agency's estimate that 56 million electric cars will be sold worldwide by 2030. The question is: what impact will the recycling of electric batteries have on the market, and how will it improve the longevity of your vehicle at a lower cost?

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A new life for your electric battery

Recycling electric batteries is like recycling clothes: we extract the fibers from the fabric to make a new sweater. Orano wants to do the same for batteries with its its 30 million euro investment.

The RecyVaBaT project was therefore born out of a consortium of several French and international recycling companies, with the aim of recycling and adding value to electric car batteries. The aim is to extract the lithium and other components from an electric battery, purify them and then reuse them to create new components for future batteries. 

Orano's project is still in its infancy, but the recycling the project's recycling companies plan to recycle 70% of electric car batteries. electric car batteries on the European market by 2030.

Savings on all fronts

Thanks to the recycling of electric batteries, both manufacturers and consumers will benefit from major savings. When the project is completed, we can expect to see a drop in the cost of manufacturing batteries for the production of new electric cars, and thus lower the selling price of electric vehicles on the market. This has already been seen between 2010 and 2020, thanks to new techniques, from from $1100 per kWh to $137 per kWh, according to an analysis by New Energy Finance at Bloomberg.

We today, electric batteries account for a third of the price of electric cars. For example, a Tesla Model Y which costs €49,990, the battery costs €19,920. On a positive note, many French consumers are not tempted to switch to electric because of the still high prices, with a percentage of 93%, according to an annual worldwide study by Deloitte.

With recycling, electric batteries have an almost infinite life cycle, as long as the materials used to make them can always be recycled. A real ecological change for the planet, as environmental impacts will be considerably reduced and natural resources will be increasingly conserved.

A project also carried out in Quebec

Quebec is also pursuing its electric battery recycling project, with Le Devoir newspaper reporting that the Legault government has invested $22.5 million in April 2022 to build a recycling plant. In order to extract and purify the various components of electric batteries, a "hydrometallurgy" process has been set up, and it's looking promising. Indeed, the plant succeeds in recover 95% of lithium-ion battery elements, and achieve a component purity level of 99.98%..

They hope to increase their recycling capacity by a factor of 10 over the next ten years. This is a huge step in the ecological transition.

Ilona Soulage
Ilona Soulage

Let's enter the world of electric vehicles and charging stations together. Passionate about innovation, I'm here to help you make the transition to a greener world.

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