Volkswagen Group UK (VWG UK) has inked an agreement with Ecobat, a global provider of battery recycling. 

This collaboration aims to collect and recycle electric vehicle (EV) batteries, which VWG UK said underscored its commitment to promoting a circular energy economy.

VWG UK has been a long-time collaborator with Ecobat, with their partnership dating back to 2014 when Ecobat began collecting lead acid batteries for TPS, the Volkswagen Group Genuine Parts provider to the independent motor trade.

The expanded contract in 2019 marked the commencement of Ecobat’s involvement in collecting and processing high-voltage batteries. Since then, the UK Diagnostics and Disassembly Centre in Darlaston, West Midlands, has processed and upgraded numerous batteries.

Under the latest agreement, Ecobat will extend its services to collecting and recycling lithium-ion battery materials from EVs. The process involves the collection of high-voltage batteries from dealers, distributors, and end-of-life recycling centres using Ecobat’s ADR-compliant vehicles. 

The collected batteries will be processed at Ecobat’s new UK lithium-ion recycling centre, the third of its kind, supplementing existing facilities in Germany and Arizona.

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Sylvain Charbonnier, Director of One Aftersales for Volkswagen Group UK, said: “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, highlighted the company’s expertise in recycling and recovering scarce battery materials. “Lithium-ion is a fast-growing technology, and our recycling operations can handle everything from small-format batteries to EV batteries. Our expertise in recycling and recovering scarce battery materials will benefit both Volkswagen Group and the environment.”

Volkswagen AG, globally, said it has invested around €180 billion in digitalisation and electrification, with plans to have approximately 50 fully electric models in the market by 2030.

Ecobat’s recycling operations fully comply with UK battery regulations, managing extended producer responsibility (EPR) on behalf of Volkswagen Group UK. The company adheres to ISO standards, including ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, and ISO 45001 for health and safety. Ecobat’s services encompass sustainable and compliant battery transportation, storage, diagnosis, and dismantling, contributing to a circular loop for recycling and reusing battery materials.