Study aims to recycle 98% of EV battery material for classic cars

20 February 2021 - autocar

Study aims to recycle 98% of EV battery material for classic cars

Five-month study will investigate how to recycle old EV battery packs for use in heritage vehicles

A new study will look into ways of giving old electric vehicle (EV) batteries a second life in classic and heritage cars.

The Classic Car Electrification (Cicero) study will focus on deconstructing old batteries to a “modular level” before reassembling their materials for use in EV conversions.

Organisers also intend to develop a digital model that would allow conversion specialists to accurately predict the range and power delivered by a second-hand battery. This would allow performance to be tailored to customers.

The consultancy group behind the study, HSSMI, says the research is needed to combat the 250,000 tonnes of “unprocessed waste” that it expects as a result of EV production by 2027.

The company also cites a 2020 report by The Faraday Institution that suggested the UK could be manufacturing 1.6 million EVs annually by 2040, hastening the need for recycling solutions.

HSSMI believes up to 98% of an EV’s battery pack could be recycled and that battery control modules can be reused to improve efficiency in converted cars. In turn, this should help “avoid balance and weight issues” that would otherwise require “changes to braking and suspension systems”.

Focus will also be given to minimising risk during disassembly and reassembly, making it easier to scale up the process for mass manufacturing in the future.

HSSMI has partnered with Aspire Engineering, PatrimonyEV and Loughborough University to conduct the five-month study, with funding coming from Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body funded by the government.

The study will conclude with a working demonstration of a recycled EV battery operating on a test rig.

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