In the future, battery recycling facilities will be introduced at all Tesla’s factories. It is more economical to recycle waste batteries than to buy new mineral materials.”
It is a phrase contained in the recently published Tesla 2021 Impact Report. Tesla, which internalizes battery cell manufacturing, said in a report, “We, an inhouse battery cell manufacturer, will significantly increase the manufacture of waste battery raw materials at global factories such as Texas and Berlin.”
Tesla is preoccupied with waste batteries…Samsung is also No. 1 in Korea and “Against Hands.”
Reinforcement of waste battery businesses such as Samsung and LG
Global electric vehicle-related companies are making every effort to recover resources from waste batteries. It happened as the price of battery raw materials, a key component, soared amid the “electric vehicle big bang” in the global automobile market.
According to the battery industry on the 15th, Samsung Group is expanding its stake in Sungil Hi-Tech, Korea’s leading waste battery resource recovery company. Samsung C&T secured a 6.33 percent stake in the company in 2009, and bought an additional 11.5 percent through Samsung Venture Investment last year. Sungil Hi-Tech, which secures waste batteries and extracts key raw materials such as nickel, cobalt and lithium manganese, is Korea’s No. 1 company with six global recycling hubs in Hungary, China, India, and Malaysia. Investment is accelerating to increase the number of global hubs to 24 by next year.
Samsung Group is planning to expand its waste battery ecosystem based on cooperation with Sungil Hi-Tech. When Samsung SDI supplies waste batteries generated during battery cell manufacturing to Sungil Hi-Tech, Sungil Hi-Tech extracts key raw materials from them and Samsung C&T sells these materials to customers.
LG Group is also paying attention to its waste battery business. This is why rumors have spread that LG Chem will acquire Yumicoa, a Belgian battery material company. Yumicoa is both a cathode material company and a waste battery recycling company. LG Chem denied the acquisition, saying it was “groundless,” but the industry seems to be interested in the fact that the acquisition of Yumicoa would have a business cycle that includes not only anode materials but also waste battery business. Hyundai Motor also said, “We plan to establish a large-scale waste battery recovery network in Korea.”
Preemptive competition for solutions to chronic raw materials shortages
Many companies are expanding their waste battery business overseas. China’s CATL is internalizing its waste battery business through its subsidiary, Non-Rump. Glencore, a global mining company in Switzerland, has decided to invest $200 million (about 255 billion won) in Li-Cycle, a Canadian waste battery company. Even mining companies that produce raw materials are showing interest in recycled raw materials.
Not only batteries but also automobile manufacturers are active in waste battery businesses. Following Tesla’s own business and collaboration with Redwood in the U.S., Volkswagen also announced that it will strengthen its own R&D.
The life of electric vehicle batteries is about 10 years, but it has been less than 5 years since electric vehicles were released in earnest in the market. Currently, waste batteries are produced in the process of producing batteries, but if waste batteries are poured out of cars in the future, the comparative advantage of preemptive companies is expected to be revealed. SNE Research predicts that the size of the waste battery recycling market will grow from 9% of battery demand (92GWh) in 2025 to about 14% (415GWh) of demand in 2030.