Tesla Motors will develop a special program for the recycling of batteries with the help of materials technology company Umicore. This Brussels-based company will be responsible for recycling battery packs fitted on Tesla's models sold in Europe. In particular, Umicore will use the battery materials to build an alloy transformed later into cobalt, nickel and other metals.
The cobalt will be used to obtain high grade lithium cobalt oxide, a material that other battery manufacturers could use.
Kurt Kelty, Director of Energy Storage Systems, said that with Umicore on Tesla’s side, the carmaker has been able to completely recycle the Roadster battery packs profitably.
And Tesla won’t need special financial incentives to promote recycling that would have been required if it had decided to use lithium manganese or lithium iron phosphate chemistries used in many electric vehicles.
Kelty said that Tesla will soon be able to recycle its batteries back into their raw materials. Tesla Motors has entered a similar agreement in North America with Kinsbursky Brothers. Agreements in Japan and the Asia Pacific region are expected to follow in the near future.