BMW is is giving electric vehicle batteries new life after they’ve been used as a car power source. The partnership with Belgian recycling firm Umicore and Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt will repurpose EV battery cells, using them for energy storage before stripping them of raw materials that can be reused in other products.
Per BMW, the effort is all part of creating a closed life cycle loop for the batteries that is eco-friendly from start to finish. The company said it’s using “mostly” renewable energy to manufacture the recyclable cells, which will serve a primary life as a drive battery in vehicles before entering a secondary life cycle as a “stationary energy storage device.” Once the battery is on its last legs, the cell will be recycled and raw materials like cobalt will be recovered and reused.
The recycling effort is just BMW’s latest crack at improving EV batteries. Last year, the company announced a plan to move away from lithium-ion by creating solid-state batteries that are safer and offer greater energy density. The German carmaker also previously announced a plan to repurpose the batteries of its i3 vehicles as wall-mounted home energy storage solutions, and it could have something similar in mind for its new recycling program.