Stellantis has inked a memorandum of understanding with Orano, a leading nuclear fuel cycle firm, to form a joint venture centered on recycling end-of-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries and gigafactory scrap. The collaboration, spanning across Enlarged Europe and North America, aims to fortify Stellantis' foothold in the electric-vehicle battery value chain, particularly by securing pivotal resources like cobalt, nickel, and lithium.
The partnership will leverage Orano's cutting-edge, low-carbon technology, which distinguishes itself from current processes. “Our technology enables the recovery of all materials from lithium-ion batteries and facilitates the production of new cathode materials,” an Orano spokesperson commented. The resultant materials, commonly termed “black mass” or “active mass,” will undergo refining at Orano's upcoming hydrometallurgical facility in Dunkirk, France. This refines the materials for battery reincorporation, epitomizing a circular economy.
Highlighting the efficiency of Orano's pre-treatment and hydrometallurgy methods, the company stated, “With our innovative approach, we can achieve metal recovery rates surpassing 90%, aligning with European Commission standards for EV battery recycling.”
This venture positions Orano as an integral player in the entire battery value chain, from recycling to cathode material production. This strategic move comes amid surging demand for essential metals and Europe's reliance on such resources.
Stellantis' ambitious “Dare Forward 2030” plan outlines their aim to exponentially grow their recycling revenues. “Our goal is to magnify recycling revenues tenfold, targeting over €2 billion from circular economy endeavors by 2030,” said a Stellantis representative. The firm is steering its operations to achieve a carbon net-zero status by 2038, encompassing all aspects and minimizing emission compensations.
The upcoming recycling venture will also offer a sustainable solution for Stellantis' partners and other OEMs to manage battery end-of-life and factory waste. With production slated to commence in early 2026, the partnership promises to rejuvenate existing Stellantis infrastructure. Moreover, investments in employee training across both companies will usher in fresh, sustainable roles for the workforce.