Battery recycling is the technique of reusing and reprocessing batteries with the goal of minimizing the number of batteries disposed of away as material waste. The Europe battery recycling market is expected to record a positive CAGR of ~40.0% during the forecast period (2022-2027) and reach approximately US$3.5 Bn by 2027, primarily driven by the depleting availability of fresh raw materials for the production of batteries which is increasingly growing in demand in both household electronics as well as industrial use. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has benefited the battery recycling industry as the demand for electric vehicles (EV) in the region experienced a growing trend with a remarkable rise in sales in the year 2020.
Augmenting demand from industries for batteries has in turn posed pressure on raw material production at an advanced rate. It is directly affecting the ratio proportion of the ability to produce raw materials like lithium to meet the demand for the same. This has focused the attention on recycling processes to meet up with the rise of battery requirements in industries.
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- Lithium-ion batteries accounted for ~30% of the market in 2021 which is expected to grow at a high rate of above 40% in the coming years owing to the increase in demand from the automotive industry which is experiencing a trend of electrification of vehicles.
- Furthermore, due to growing environmental problems such as contamination of the soil, water, air, and rise in global warming, European Union is pushing for the construction of battery recycling infrastructure. All such factors are likely to enhance the battery recycling market’s trajectory for growth.
- However, due to the market’s uncertainty and immaturity, there are few barriers. For example, most of the electric vehicles in the market have yet not reached the end-of-life stage which raises numerous questions related to battery lifespans, collection, condition, and compatibility to recycling procedures.
- The availability of 100-200 gigawatt hours of batteries that will soon need to be retired due to their incapacity to meet the requirements for use in an EV is predicted to result from the development of EVs by 2030.
- According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, the European electric vehicle (EV) market experienced remarkable growth in 2020, posting a 143% increase in sales of passenger electric cars from 2019. The sales in 2020 made Europe the biggest EV market globally, surpassing China and the US.
- Although sales of all new cars in Europe decreased by 20%, the increase in EV sales boosted the EV share to 11%. Both battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) have jumped into the air, not only in terms of market share but also in overall terms. In Germany, sales of PHEV vehicles from January to June increased from 47,584 in 2019 to 93,848 in 2020. Similar trends were observed across other countries in Europe.
Key Trends by Market Segment
By Source: Automotive batteries source holds the largest share of Europe’s battery recycling market.
- Increasing adoption of batteries in the automotive sector for electric vehicles has increased the number of waste batteries from the sector in turn opening opportunities for extracting valuable metals from the product for further usage.
- Lead oxide paste, solid sponge lead, and sulfuric acid make up the battery’s chemical composition. These three compounds are made to chemically react with one another to create a current flow.
- The metals attained after the recycling includes stainless steel, lead, nickel, lithium, and others.
- For instance, in November, 2020, BMW and Off Grid Energy formed a partnership with a purpose of finding solutions to sustainable second-life for the end-of-life electric and hybrid models of BMW.
By Chemistry: Lead-acid battery chemistry segment accounts for the majority share of the Europe Battery Recycling Market.
- Due to the rising energy costs of pyrometallurgical lead recovery, the associated CO2 emissions, and the dire health effects from lead-to-air emissions, it is becoming increasingly necessary to develop novel procedures to recover lead from end-of-life lead-acid batteries.
- For instance, in September, 2022, Recyclus receives an approval for a new battery recycling facility. The company will be able to disassemble lead-acid batteries at a facility in Tipton (U.K.) and find new Chemistries for its component parts. The decision will enable the business to manually recycle lead-acid batteries, such as those that are frequently seen in automobiles.
By Recycling Methods: The pyrometallurgy segment holds the largest market share in the Europe Battery Recycling Market as trusted and widely used method in the region.
- In June, 2022, Aurubis, a German company had begun its construction of a recycling plant in Augusta, Georgia. The plant will recycle up to 90,000 tons of cables, circuit boards, and electronics into blister copper and other metals preferably through the pyrometallurgy recycling method.
- The hydrometallurgy segment is expected to grow at a faster rate during the forecast period, as with hydrometallurgical battery recycling, more elements with a high purity grade can be recovered while using less energy and emitting no emissions into the atmosphere.
By End-User: Consumer electronics end-user segment holds the highest market share in the European battery recycling market.
- Battery usage is rapidly rising due to the rise in energy demand for electric and electronic consumer gadgets, and as a result, more materials are being used that will result in an increase in the long-term production of hazardous waste.
- According to the CEO of SolidEnergy, new lithium metal batteries might double the lifespan of smartphones, drones, and electric vehicles.
- In the absence of suitable legislation and technological solutions that make battery recycling practicable and cost-effective, electronic and electrical gadgets, as well as lithium-ion batteries, have been abandoned at the end of their useful lives which is promoting the need for recycled batteries in the industry.
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By Geography: Germany accounts for the largest share of the total Europe battery recycling market, accounting for a significant share of total market revenue due to rising government regulations on the same.
- Sweden is expected to have the second highest CAGR after rest of Europe during the forecast period, due to the increasing adoption of electric battery buses in the country due to government support from the European Environment Agency.
- Gothenburg in Sweden is home to various electric vehicle manufacturers like Stena Recycling and more who are taking initiatives in electric vehicle market and in turn promoting battery recycling.
- The battery recycling market in Spain is also expected to grow significantly in the coming years, as EV incentive schemes launched by the government of Spain like Renove, is expected to boost its adoption in the country and will benefit the battery recycling market.
- France is supporting the adoption of electric vehicles through making it a convenient option to drive, for example, set up of approximately 30,000 charging points across the country. It is therefore increasing the demand for EVs as well lithium-ion battery.
- The battery recycling market is highly competitive with ~100 players which include globally diversified players, regional players as well as a large number of country-niche players having their own niche in battery recycling. Most of the country-niche players are renewable energy and equipment suppliers.
- Large global players control about 40% of the market revenue, while regional players hold the second largest share in the market revenue. Some of the major players in the market include Accurec Recycling GmbH, Umicore, Volkswagen Group, BASF Group, REDUX Recycling GmbH, Li-Cycle, Saft Groupe SA, SNAM, Stena Recycling, Erament, Glencore, Hydrovolt and others. The leading global specialist companies such as REDUX Recycling GmbH and Accurec Recycling GmbH, are highly focused on battery recycling.
Recent Developments Related to Major Players
- BASF is reported to be building a facility, slated to start in 2024 that would disassemble and shred batteries to create black mass. By the middle of the decade, the corporation also intends to construct a hydrometallurgical refinery on a commercial scale in Europe. The materials would then be sent back to BASF’s battery cathode materials factory in Schwarzheide, which is expected to begin manufacturing by the end of the year.
- In July, 2022, Nyobolt Limited (UK) and H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders (Germany), have signed an agreement which will enable new Chemistrys into automation (robotics), industrial vehicles, consumer appliances, mobile rapid charging, stationary storage, and cordless.
- Ford stated that it was thinking about implementing LFP (lithium iron phosphate) in 2021, mostly for commercial purposes. The company revealed a significant supply agreement with China’s CATL in July 2022, with the supply of LFP cells set to start in 2023.
- In November 2021, a preliminary lithium supply agreement was inked by German-Australian Company Vulcan with automaker Stellantis (STLA.MI), shortly after a similar agreement was reached with Renault (RENA.PA), amid a boom in demand for electric vehicles.
- Around 2027, Stora Enso (Finland) and Northvolt will make batteries out of sustainable wood. Hard carbon with lignin as its base will be used in the process and will be manufactured with wood in Nordic greens.
- Started in June 2022, GigafactoryX is being built by Clean Power Source S.A. (ICPT). The investment will increase the company’s manufacturing capacity from its present 1 MWh per day to up to 5 GWh annually. Lithium-ion cells with LTO, LFP, and NMC chemistry will constitute the basis of all battery systems. Production is expected to begin in 2024.
The Europe Battery Recycling Market is forecasted to continue an exponential growth that is witnessed since 2017, primarily driven by rising demand for electric vehicle and escalating environmental issues arising from carbon emissions. Though the market is highly competitive with around 100 participants, few global players control the dominant share and regional players also hold a significant share.
Ken Research has published a report title Europe Battery Recycling Market Size, Segments, Outlook and Revenue Forecast 2022-2027 that is segmented by Source, Chemistry, Recycling Methods, and End-User. In addition, the report also covers market size and forecasts for the region’s six major countries’ battery recycling markets. The revenue used to size and forecast the market for each segment is US$ million.
Consumer Electronic Appliance Batteries
By Recycling Methods
Rest of Europe (Norway, Finland, Netherland, Denmark, Portugal, others)