Volkswagen Group UK joins forces with Ecobat to recycle electric vehicle batteries

Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Ltd. (VWG UK) has signed an agreement with Ecobat, the global leader in battery recycling, to collect and recycle electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The deal helps VWG UK close the loop to promote a circular energy economy and ensures the UK’s largest automotive Group is doing all it can to boost sustainability.

Ecobat has a longstanding relationship with VWG UK dating back to 2014 when it started collecting lead acid batteries for TPS, the Volkswagen Group Genuine Parts provider to the independent motor trade. The contract was expanded in 2019, when Ecobat started working with high-voltage batteries, and since the company’s UK Diagnostics and Disassembly Centre in Darlaston in the West Midlands was opened, it has processed and upgraded many thousands of batteries.

Under this latest agreement, Ecobat will collect EV batteries to recycle lithiumion battery materials. The company will collect high-voltage batteries from dealers, distributors, and end-of-life recycling centres using Ecobat’s ADR compliant vehicles. Batteries will be processed at Ecobat’s new UK lithiumion recycling centre. This is Ecobat’s third lithiumion recycling facility, in addition to facilities operating in Germany and Arizona.

Director of One Aftersales for Volkswagen Group UK, Sylvain Charbonnier, said: “I’m pleased to be extending and expanding our relationship with Ecobat. As we move to decarbonise road transport, the number of electric vehicles in our car parc is rapidly increasing, and we need to ensure sustainability throughout the lifecycle. Working with our trusted partners, we are confident we can reassure our dealers and customers that we are responsibly moving towards our electrification goals.”

Elliott Ethridge, Vice President of Global Sales for Ecobat, commented: “We have been recycling lead batteries for VWG UK for a decade, and we are delighted to be able to extend our relationship to recycle EV lithiumion batteries. Lithiumion is a fast-growing technology, and our recycling operations can handle everything from small-format batteries to EV batteries. We also recover scrap, byproducts, end-of-life, and damaged products to help make lithiumion battery production more sustainable. Our expertise in recycling and recovering scarce battery materials will benefit both Volkswagen Group and the environment.”

On a global basis, Volkswagen AG was the first major automotive company to commit itself to the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement and has developed a group-wide decarbonisation programme. It has launched the most comprehensive electrification initiative in the automotive industry and is committed to the introduction of e-mobility. The company will have around 50 fully electric models in the market by 2030 – the result of investing around €180 billion in digitalisation and electrification by 2027. Volkswagen Group UK currently offers around 15 electric vehicles in the UK, a number which is set to rise. In 2023 the Group accounted for more than one in five passenger car BEV registrations in the UK, making it the market leader.

Ecobat recycling fully complies with UK battery regulations, and the company is managing extended producer responsibility (EPR) on behalf of Volkswagen Group UK. The company maintains strict quality assurance for its environmental, health, and safety processes. The company conforms to ISO standards, including ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, and ISO 45001 for health and safety. Ecobat provides a sustainable, circular loop for recycling and reusing battery materials and works with OEMs to boost their sustainability credentials and minimise waste. The company offers compliant battery transportation, storage, diagnosis, and dismantling.