CATL aims to establish EV battery recycling sites in Europe, North America

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Battery giant CATL is taking a step further to consolidate its dominance in the industry. The company's manufacturing head said it plans to set up EV battery recycling sites with partners in Europe and North America. Recovered materials are expected to play a critical role in CATL's future production.

In a panel at the Summer Davos on June 28, Ni Jun, CATL's chief manufacturing officer, said the company is talking to a partner in Europe to build multiple EV battery recycling sites on the continent.

He did not reveal the partner or any more details on the project. But he mentioned that CATL is looking to work with companies in North America to build similar sites.

The battery maker is operating a production base in Germany and constructing another one in Hungary. According to Bloomberg, CATL establishing a recycling network in Europe and North America shows that the company is trying to grow its dominance throughout the EV battery supply chain.

Ni said battery recycling is necessary as spent batteries could contaminate soil and cause explosions. He claimed that CATL is already the world's largest battery recycler salvaging over 99% of nickel, cobalt and manganese, as well as more than 90% of lithium.

CATL has invested in two battery recycling projects in China, according to local news outlet The Paper. In 2021, its subsidiary Brunp led a CNY32 billion (US$4.48 billion) project in Hubei province, which will recycle batteries and produce materials like LFP and ternary precursors.

Brunp invested in another similar project in Guangdong province earlier this year. The site was expected to recycle 500,000 tonnes of spent battery materials. The total investment was CNY23.8 billion at most.

The Paper reported that CATL chairman Zeng Yuqun had said the company can utilize recycled materials to meet much of the market demand after 2035.

On the other hand, CATL is reportedly to supply its M3P batteries to revamped Tesla Model 3 made in China. According to China-based 36Kr, the new battery technology will improve a rear-drive version's battery capacity from 60kWh to 66kWh and offer a longer range.

At the end of March 2023, Zeng said CATL plans to start mass-producing M3P batteries this year. While the company did not reveal the chemistries in the battery, it said the new technology can provide 10% to 20% higher energy density than LFP batteries.