Norway has not only become the main market for electric cars in Europe and in the world, but it is also becoming the country with the greatest capacity for regeneration and recovery. The largest electric car battery recycling plant in Europe has been installed in the city of Fredriktad. It has just started trading looking to the future with impressive processing power.
Called Hydrovolt, the processing center is born from the alliance of two major European battery manufacturers: Northvolt and Hydro. After several months of construction and preparation, the plant has finally come into operation to give a second life to the thousands of electric car batteries that are discarded. Hydrovolt has a processing capacity of 12,000 tons of batteries per yearwhich means approximately 25,000 electric car batteries recycled in 12 months.
With such recycling rates, the Northvolt and Hydro plant is ready for the future. Such is the improvement in the recovery processes, that currently recycling allows up to 95% of battery materials to be recovered, including black mass which will be supplied to Northvolt, which in turn will be used in the production of new batteries for electric cars. A 360-degree strategy that is integrated into Northvolt’s plan to use 50% recycled materials in battery production by 2030.
At a strategic level, the recovery of black mass, a powder containing nickel, manganese, cobalt and lithium metals, will reduce the current dependency on mining and to the main producing countries. Northvolt is responsible for giving a second life to that black mass in a secondary processing process that is carried out at the plant in Skellefteå, Sweden. By 2025, Hydrovolt is expected to be capable of producing more than 2,000 tons of black mass per year.
The plant is a reference center at European and world level. The goals are as big as the facilities. In the long term the goal is process and recover more than 70,000 tons of batteries by 2025, while by 2030 that figure is expected to grow to 300,000 tons. Currently the plant, with its capacity of 12,000 tons per year, would be capable of recycling all the batteries in Norway’s electric car park. We repeat that it is the largest market in the world.
Of course, all parties have been delighted at such a moment. Emma Nehrenheim, Environmental Director at Northvolt, commented: “Recycling batteries at the end of their useful life is the cornerstone of ensuring that the electric vehicle transition is truly successful from an environmental perspective. The metals used in battery production are finite, but by substituting raw materials taken from the Earth with recycled materials, we can not only reduce the carbon footprint of batteries, but also enable long-term sustainable use of battery technology. lithium ion batteries”.