Umicore partners with ABB FIA Formula E Championship to implement battery recycling program
Formula E to work with Umicore to recycle the battery cells used to power the fully-electric racing cars
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has today announced a new partnership with Umicore - the Belgian materials technology and recycling group - as official battery recycling partner, to recycle the lithium-ion battery units and cells used during the first two seasons of the electric street racing series.
The Formula E batteries from seasons one and two, created by Williams Advanced Engineering, have been collected and are in the process of being recycled by Umicore. The process comprises of sorting, dismantling and recycling with valuable metals being carefully recovered using proprietary and unique smelting technology followed by hydrometallurgical treatment.
The metals in the battery are infinitely recyclable without losing their properties. After collection the batteries are taken apart using methods to ensure the environment is not exposed to hazardous compounds. Recycling includes the recovery of the metals and their transformation into metal alloys that will be used again in new rechargeable batteries or other products.
Umicore is one of only a few companies worldwide to offer a complete recycling journey. Its unique ‘closed loop’ approach for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries ensures there is minimal waste or impact on the environment, which will be vital as the adoption of electric vehicles becomes more mainstream.
Umicore is a pioneer in providing customers in the rechargeable battery value chain with materials of a certified clean and ethical origin. The company has been ranked seventh in the 2019 top-100 of the world’s most sustainable companies published by Corporate Knights.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “This is an important moment for Formula E and I’m grateful to be partnering with Umicore on this initiative. Sustainability is at the core of both companies, and to be able to recycle our battery cells with a closed loop approach means we’re doing our utmost to limit the impact we have on the environment - while promoting a wider message of clean mobility.”
Kurt Vandeputte, Senior Vice-President Rechargeable Battery Materials Umicore, said: “It’s an honour for Umicore to demonstrate our closed loop business approach for the lithium-ion batteries in Formula E. After introducing our battery materials expertise as technology partner with MAHINDRA RACING in the championship, we’re excited to now also offer our ‘closing the battery loop’ sustainable recycling solution for the end-of-life batteries of season one and two.”
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Notes to the editor:
About the ABB FIA Formula E Championship
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is the electric street racing series and the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater category in motorsport. Formula E brings intense and unpredictable racing to some of the world’s most recognisable and progressive cities - including Hong Kong, Rome, Paris, Berlin and New York.
Formula E enters a new and exciting era in season five with the competitive debut of the next generation car. The striking new model boasts a distinctive futuristic design and demonstrates a clear step-up in performance with almost double the energy storage capacity - allowing teams and drivers to complete a full race distance at higher speeds without needing to swap cars. The Gen2 car is a testament to the ongoing advancements in battery and electric vehicle technology in the space of only four years.
The fifth edition of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will see 11 teams and 22 drivers tackle a variety of challenging circuits in 12 cities - across five continents - in a bid to be crowned champion. Formula E will be making its debut in the Middle East on December 15 for the season-opener in Ad Diriyah, with the championship once again coming to a close in New York City over the course of two days on July 13 & 14.
The concept of Formula E is to act as a platform to test and develop road-relevant technologies, helping refine the design and functionality of components and infrastructure - actively speeding-up the transition and uptake of electric vehicles on a global scale.
Formula E is continuing to attract some of the leading names and renowned brands in motorsport and the automotive industry. For this season, Formula E has nine manufacturers on its roster - including Nissan - taking over the existing entry from Renault - and BMW linking-up with Andretti. This number is set to rise further still, with the highly-anticipated inclusion of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in season six.
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Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life. Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean mobility materials and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.
Umicore’s industrial and commercial operations as well as R&D activities are located across the world to best serve its global customer base. The Group generated a turnover of € 14.8 billion (€ 3.3 billion excluding metal) in 2018 and currently employs 10,400 people.
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