Stellantis and Orano plan JV for recycling EV batteries and scrap from gigafactories

Reclaimed cobalt, nickel and lithium support Stellantis’ circular economy approach and will help meet the EU 2031 battery directive to use recycled materials in new batteries.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 25 Oct 2023 Views icon3748 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Stellantis and Orano plan JV for recycling EV batteries and scrap from gigafactories

Stellantis and Orano have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint venture for recycling end-of-life electric vehicle batteries and scrap from gigafactories in Enlarged Europe and North America, strengthening Stellantis’ position in the electric-vehicle battery value chain by securing additional access to cobalt, nickel, and lithium necessary for electrification and energy transition.

“The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals has confirmed the need to find solutions like this one with Orano to meet the challenge of natural resource scarcity and sustainability,” said Stellantis Senior Vice President, Circular Economy Business Unit, Alison Jones. “Guided by our Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis is committed to shifting its production and consumption model by fulfilling its circular economy commitment.”

The joint venture capitalises on Orano’s innovative, low-carbon technology, which breaks with existing processes, allowing the recovery of all materials from lithium-ion batteries, and the manufacturing of new cathode materials. The joint venture will produce materials also known as ‘black mass’ or ‘active mass’. This can be refined in Orano’s hydrometallurgical plant to be built in Dunkirk, France, so that the materials could be re-used in batteries, thus closing the loop of a circular economy.

Thanks to its innovative pre-treatment approach and cutting-edge hydrometallurgy technology, the recovery rates of metals can reach exceptional levels of more than 90%. It enables OEMs to reach European Commission levels of recycling rate into batteries of electric vehicles and ensure the sustainability of the business model. In a context of increased demand for strategic metals and Europe's strong dependence on those metals, Orano positions itself as a key player in the integrated value chain, from battery recycling to the production of cathode materials.

“We are delighted with this partnership with a major player such as Stellantis to work together in the recycling of used electric batteries,” said Orano Group Director of Innovation, R&D and Nuclear Medicine, Magnets and Batteries, Guillaume Dureau. “We are proud to bring our expertise and know-how with our innovative and disruptive process which allows a real closed loop. Orano continues its commitment to developing a low-carbon economy with the recycling of strategic materials for the energy transition and the circular economy.”

As part of Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, its Circular Economy Business Unit is pushing to increase recycling revenues by ten times and achieve more than 2 billion euros in total circular economy revenues by 2030. Stellantis is on track to become a carbon net zero corporation by 2038, all scopes included, with single-digit percentage compensation of remaining emissions.

The new commercial recycling entity will also provide Stellantis’ partners, its aftersales network, and other OEMs with a solution to manage end-of-life batteries and scrap from gigafactories. Production will begin in the first part of 2026, reusing existing Stellantis assets and facilities. Investments to reskill and upskill Stellantis and Orano employees will open sustainable perspectives for people in their new assignments.

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