This lets the user determine a battery’s overall state of health. Now three options are on the table.
The first is so-called remanufacturing, a process by which the battery, due to its good or very good state of health, can be reprocessed for further use as a replacement part for e-vehicles after undergoing repair work reflecting its current market value. A number of related concepts are currently in review and preparation.
In the second option, a battery receives its “second life” when it has a medium-level to good state of health that will permit its continued use outside an e-vehicle for years to come. This might be in a flexible quick charging station, a mobile charging robot, a driverless transportation system, or a forklift as well as in a home storage or emergency standby power system.
The third option entails efficient recycling in the Volkswagen Group Components pilot plant in Salzgitter, where mechanical processes gently dismantle only the most completely exhausted of batteries into their basic materials such as aluminum, copper, plastics, and “black powder”. This “black powder” contains the valuable battery components lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and graphite, which are separated by specialized partners using hydrometallurgical means before being processed again into a cathode material.
Frank Blome, Head of Battery Cell and System at Volkswagen Group Components, says: “We know that recycled battery materials are just as effective as new ones. These recycled materials will be used to supply our cell production activities in the future.”
Volker Germann, CEO of Audi Brussels, adds: “The development of BattMAN ReLife is a great example of the success that cooperation between the various brands of the Volkswagen group leads to.”