Studies to improve recycling and re-use of batteries for eco-friendly cars

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Six British companies have been awarded Technology Strategy Board (http://www.innovateuk.org) funding for feasibility studies into the recycling and re-use of batteries for low and ultra low carbon vehicles.

Nearly £500,000 will be shared by the six companies - Axeon, Energy Cost Advisors Ltd, LiFeBATT Ltd, Narec, OXIS Energy Ltd and TRL (2 studies) – who will carry out seven studies between them.

The funding awards follow the companies’ success in the ‘Batteries for Low and Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles: Recycling and Re-use’ funding competition, which was developed by the Technology Strategy Board with the assistance of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Andrew Everett, Head of Transport at the Technology Strategy Board, said: “The aim of the feasibility studies is to draw out innovative, market-focussed UK research which has the potential to increase valuable battery life and enable cost-    effective recycling, address concerns around the sustainable use and recovery of raw     materials within automotive batteries and contribute to the development in the UK of an automotive battery recycling industry.”

Michael Hurwitz, Director of OLEV said: "I welcome the Technology Strategy Board funding in this area and congratulate the successful companies. Understanding the economic opportunities available from batteries after their primary use in low and ultra low emission vehicles is an important element of the overall picture. We want this to contribute to the UK’s leading position in the design and uptake of these vehicles."

Each of the feasibility studies will address one of the following areas:

  •     research that explores potential processes for the cost-effective recycling of batteries for the propulsion of low and ultra low carbon vehicles, including detailed process flow and identification of the value of recovered elements;
  •     research that explores the potential development of commercial opportunities from the re-use of batteries after their primary use in low and ultra low carbon vehicles, including demonstrating energy remaining at various stages and its suitability and market demand for re-use.

Including contributions from the participating companies, the total cost of the studies is just over £670,000. The studies are likely to start in September 2011 and should be completed within 12 months.

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Nick Sheppard
Technology Strategy Board
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