Collection system for electric car batteries

Circular Economy

Sales of electric and charging hybrid cars have increased  extensive recent years, both globally and in Sweden. Common to these car types is that they all contain a battery for propulsion. It also means that they all contain a battery that one day will have to be taken out of the car and handled when the battery is either exhausted or when it is time to recover the car.

Such batteries, which are currently used in charging hybrid cars, often weigh a bit over 100 kg, while batteries in fullels cars can amount to as much as 600 kg. Apart from the weight and size of the batteries, they are also a “new” type of component in cars that must be handled by workshops and image assemblers. Linked to this management and what will happen to batteries that are taken out of cars there are a number of challenges and issues. This was something that was addressed in the project SCAR (short for “Sustainable collection, aftermarket and recycling of lithium-based batteries”) whose purpose was to investigate and lay the foundation for how a sustainable system for the collection, re-use and recycling of batteries for propulsion of electric and charging hybrid cars can be built up in Sweden.

What do we do to meet the challenge?

The project brought together several important and relevant actors in order to jointly find good ways forward and already today to achieve sustainable and efficient handling of batteries, but above all to be well prepared for future future volumes. An important part of the project was to map out which activities are necessary in the handling of batteries and which actors might be relevant to performing them; both in the short and the longer perspective. All of this was packaged in a number of conceptual models that were evaluated based on a set of criteria. Since the project’s focus was on Sweden and there were no forecasts for the sale of electric and charging hybrid cars that stretched for more than a few years ahead, it was also worked on that bit. This is to better understand the estimated volumes of batteries that can be talked about at a certain time in a future Sweden. The number of batteries that need to be handled within a collection system is directly decisive for what capacity the system must live up to and which requirements it should be able to meet. The project also gave the opportunity for its industrial partners to create a good understanding of each other’s needs. During the two and a half years of the project, he happened to be very active in the activities of the participating organizations connected to batteries. Such a thing clearly shows how fast this area is moving and how important it is that from the earliest stage we can think of achieving resource efficiency along the entire value chain.

Partner and financier

Chalmers Industriteknik

Chalmers tekniska högskola

Volvo Car Group

Stena Recycling

Jönköpings Bildemontering

If Skadeförsäkring

Project time

October 2015-March 2018.

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