Formula E partners with Umicore for battery recycling program

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The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has announced a partnership with Belgian materials and recycling company Umicore, which will serve as the series’s official battery recycling supplier. The deal will see Umicore recycle the lithium-ion battery units and cells used during the first two seasons of the electric series.

The Formula E batteries from season one and two, created by Williams Advanced Engineering, have been collected and are in the process of being recycled. The process includes sorting, dismantling and recycling – with valuable metals being recovered using proprietary smelting technology – followed by hydrometallurgical treatment.

The batteries are taken apart, with care being taken to ensure the environment isn’t exposed to hazardous compounds. Recycling includes the recovery of the metals and transformation into metal alloys that will be used again in new rechargeable batteries, or other products.

Umicore’s unique ‘closed loop’ approach for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries ensures minimal waste or impact on the environment, which will be vital as the adoption of electric vehicles becomes more mainstream.

“This is an important moment for Formula E and I’m grateful to be partnering with Umicore on this initiative,” said Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E.

“Sustainability is at the core of both companies, and to be able to recycle our battery cells with a closed loop approach means we’re doing our utmost to limit the impact we have on the environment – while promoting a wider message of clean mobility.”

“It’s an honor for Umicore to demonstrate our closed loop business approach for the lithium-ion batteries in Formula E,” added Kurt Vandeputte, senior vice president Rechargeable Battery Materials, Umicore.

“After introducing our battery materials expertise as technology partner with Mahindra Racing in the championship, we’re excited to now also offer our ‘closing the battery loop’ sustainable recycling solution for the end-of-life batteries of season one and two.”

Paul McNamara, technical director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said, “Williams Advanced Engineering has long been leading the way on electrification of racing and sustainable transport, which can only be truly sustainable if the products involved are recyclable.

“The team at Williams Advanced Engineering takes great pride in its foundational role enabling the launch and development of Formula E across its first four seasons, with batteries that ran at better than 99.5% race reliability. We congratulate Formula E on the unveiling of this initiative.”

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About Author


Matt joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he began editing Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International in 2016, and took over as editor of Tire Technology International in 2018.

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