Mercedes-Benz has begun building a new battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, Germany, cutting resource consumption and establishing closed-loop recycling of battery raw materials. The first stage of the plant – mechanical dismantling of electric vehicle batteries – is scheduled to start ramping up at the end of this year.

Mercedes-Benz is set to invest a double-digit million Euro amount in the construction of the balance sheet CO2-neutral plant. The pilot plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 2,500 tons. The recovered materials will be fed back into the recycling loop to produce more than 50,000 battery modules for new Mercedes-Benz models.

Based on the findings of the pilot factory, production volumes could be scaled up in the medium to long term. Batteries that can no longer be used in vehicles can continue to be used in a 2nd-life storage system. The investment strengthens the role of the Kuppenheim site within the global Mercedes-Benz production network. Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain Management, says: “This foundation symbolises the decisive step towards closing the material cycle for batteries from Mercedes-Benz. With a recycling rate of more than 96 percent, a ‘mine of tomorrow’ is being created here in Kuppenheim. The innovative technology approach enables us to incorporate the valuable raw materials into new Mercedes-EQ vehicles.”

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Author: Adrian Smith, Autofutures
Image: Autofutures