Daimler is set to acquire $23bn in battery cells, accelerating its electrification strategy
One of the largest automakers in Europe, Daimler has revealed its plans to acquire $23bn (€20bn) in battery cells until 2030 in order to cater towards growing international demands for hybrid and electric vehicles, trucks and vans, as part of its bid to reduce global emissions.
Through its investment, the company will aim to construct assembly plants across Europe, with its second factory presently established in Kamenz, Germany. However, the company will adopt a global network, investing in four further green energy-based facilities spanning Bangkok (Thailand), Beijing (China) and Tuscaloosa, Alabama (North America).
The company’s plans to build a second battery production facility in Germany will further its efforts to lower its CO2 emissions, as it will be designed to be completely carbon neutral, fully embedded with state-of-the-art technologies. Additionally, the business is set to launch a fully-electrified city bus under Mercedes-Benz, where prototypes are presently in operation.
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At present, the company has battery cell supply partnerships with Korea’s SK Innovation, LG Chem and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology, as according to Reuters.
“The automotive industry is facing a fundamental transformation and we see ourselves as the driving force behind this change. The battery factory in Kamenz is an important component in the implementation of our electric offensive. By 2022, we will have more than 10 purely electric passenger cars in series. We also continue to drive forward the hybridisation of our fleet,” stated Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG.
Investing in significant battery cell research to reduce its dependence on rare earth minerals and subsequent impact on the environment. Consequently, the business has admitted that it is closely auditing suppliers, who must disclose full transparency within each step of their supply chains, whilst they continue to accelerate their efforts to become one of the most innovative electric and autonomous vehicle producers worldwide.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.