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Volklec eyes EVs with Midlands battery manufacturing plant

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Volklec, a new UK manufacturing business making batteries for electric vehicles, has launched based in Coventry with the vision of Powering Electrified Mobility as it manufactures sustainable batteries for on-road, off-highway and track vehicles.

In an innovative UK technology collaboration, Volklec is working with UKBIC, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and national manufacturing development scale-up facility, which also provides skills for the growing EV battery sector.

Volklec, working with UKBIC, will develop batteries to meet the attribute requirements of the UK automotive market, in particular the diverse array of small volume and niche vehicle manufacturers.

Volklec’s product development and rapid route to scale-up provides a critical component in the roadmap to giga-scale production. The collaboration will directly create jobs in the West Midlands and contribute directly to building world-class battery R&D, process and manufacturing capability in the UK.

Imran Khatri, Volklec Founder, said: “Volklec has been many months and significant investment in the making, established to help the UK’s decarbonisation drive.  As a proud investment in the UK, our initial focus is on the automotive industry, providing security of supply to the sector, then we intend to look at the broader electrification markets as well.”

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Volklec to UKBIC and to become their launch base here in the heart of the UK automotive industry. Our purpose-built facility is where businesses can develop their battery manufacturing processes at the scale they need to move to industrial production. This agreement marks the start of Volklec’s journey to create a battery with the potential to scale up to significant volumes in the coming years, and we are proud to support the business in the initial phase of their development. Manufacturing cells at volume is vital to ensuring the UK prospers from the energy transition towards Net Zero, and this agreement further demonstrates the unique value of UKBIC to the battery ecosystem.”

Why now is the time to transition your business to EVs

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By Nicola Mahmood, Business Development Director, Equans EV Solutions

As businesses across the UK look to play their part to support the governments net zero target of 2050 (1), EV adoption naturally becomes part of the conversation. That said, the first question often asked by businesses isn’t ‘should we invest in EV’, ‘but rather ‘when should we start investing in EV?’ – the answer to that question, in the simplest form, is now.

Currently, there are over 810,000 fully electric cars (2) on the UK’s roads – more than double the amount in 2021. Of this figure, 43,000 are vans – highlighting that many businesses are already driving forward the switch to EV.  In addition, ownership of electric commercial vehicles has also risen, with vans up some 67.3% (3). This signifies the increased demand for more sustainable transport, supporting the plans to accelerate a greener future for the transport sector.

In addition to the increased demand, the government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be enforced from 2030 in the UK. This may seem far into the future – however, the reality is that for many businesses, that’s likely just one, or two fleet replacement cycles. It’s now more important than ever to start the transition to EV, to ensure your business doesn’t get left behind.

Start small, scale up

If you operate a large-scale fleet, it would typically require significant upfront investment to transition your entire fleet to EV, which many businesses are likely not prepared for. However, it’s important to understand that EV infrastructure doesn’t need to be a single, outright investment. Transitioning to EV is completely scalable, and the solution you choose should be modular, meaning it can grow in line with business growth.

By starting small and scaling up, you will learn what works for your business and have the flexibility to change your strategy if needed. Having a tried and tested model will provide you with a proof of concept and evidence the feasibility of EV to your stakeholders, before making a large-scale investment and a full fleet transition. Adopting EV should be viewed as scalable programme that works around the demands of your business – not a one-time project.

What’s more, as the industry continues to grow, you will also benefit from developments in technology as you expand your infrastructure.

Invest now to reduce costs

The combination of an ever-increasing need for EVs and continued regulatory pressure, has in turn

created a surge in demand for EV infrastructure. In fact, statistics have shown that almost two-thirds of businesses (5) expect to operate a 100% electric fleet in the next four years. With that in mind, as we approach 2030, it’s highly likely that demand will significantly increase as businesses rush to get prepared.

Delaying your transition, or waiting until you are forced to switch could result in higher costs and longer lead times. When infrastructure demand increases, wait times for new grid connections will rise, infrastructure providers will have less capacity and charger demand will increase. By investing now, your business can get ahead and in turn, save valuable time and money in the future.

How to get it right the first time

In an attempt to start the process quickly, many businesses make the mistake of investing in electric vehicles before considering their overarching roadmap to EV. This often leads to an ineffective strategy that doesn’t support the needs of the business or fleet drivers. For the transition to EV to be seamless, businesses should look to start the EV infrastructure conversation first. This ensures your entire EV programme is built around your business operation, rather than as a reactive measure.

A good place to start is by mapping out your business and operational needs, in particular where your fleet vehicles are returned to once they’ve been on the road. For example, if your drivers return vehicles to a depot overnight, installing on-site charging is likely to be most suitable. However, if they return to base throughout the day and require a fast charge before their next route, then rapid charging should be taken into consideration. On the other hand, if your drivers take vehicles home at the end of the day, domestic charging may be considered. Or, you may find that a combination of the three works best to keep you fleet on the move in an optimal way.

Taking all of the operational factors of your business into consideration can be complex and many businesses are unsure where to start, which means they often don’t. This is where involving a charge point delivery partner in the early stages can prove beneficial. Your partner will support you to map out the needs of your fleet and business, including uptime, range, and routes, as well as your power availability and required capacity. Ensuring you get this right at the start will make your transition smoother, and reduce costs in the long run.

Now is the time to transition

It’s clear that the EV revolution is within reach. However, businesses who don’t consider adopting soon will face higher costs and significant delays. Involving a delivery partner in the early stages will help to ensure your solution is fully suitable and scalable, supporting the demands and needs of your business.

The benefits of adopting EV for businesses are endless from a reduced corporate carbon footprint, to cost savings via lower running costs. There are also various government funding initiatives and grants available to support your journey – meaning there’s never been a better time to switch.

The necessity of building a sustainable fleet and optimising investment

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By André Dias, CTO and Founder, Daloop

At the beginning of this year, data suggested that 2021 saw a 4.5% drop in fleet and business new car registrations. And yet, despite this overall fall, last year recorded historic Electric Vehicle (EV) uptake within fleets and businesses, with more registrations in 2021 than in the previous five years combined.

In 2022, EV sales continue to grow, and we have witnessed new government commitments including the target of developing over 300,000 charge points across the UK by 2030. With the sale of new combustion engine vehicles set to cease in 2030, it is vital that businesses develop an EV transition plan, with the benefits of doing so far outweighing any downsides.

Future proof your organisation

Across the western world, pressure is increasing on organisations to become sustainable. Recent studies show that consumers have become increasingly eco-conscious, while governments continue to pass laws in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants from further harming our planet.

The transportation sector, which includes cars, trucks, planes, trains, and boats, is one of the top sources of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 37% of CO2 emissions from end‐use sectors. Organisations clearly have a huge role to play in reducing this figure.

With sales of combustion engine vehicles set to end in the UK, EU, and US by 2035, the onus is on businesses as well as local councils to begin to strategize ways to adopt carbon-neutral vehicles. Of course, this will be a gradual step and dependent on each organisation’s strategy and industry trends, with some industries naturally having an easier transition than others.

A recent study found that 83% of large commercial fleet operators cited environmental benefits as a top motivation for electrifying fleets. The general feeling is that change is afoot, with governmental and consumer pressure adding to the many reasons for transitioning to carbon neutral mobility. By doing so, organisations can solidify their reputation as being socially responsible and environmentally compliant and ensure that they reduce the risk of falling foul of any potential future environmental regulations.

Financially, it makes sense

With the current cost of living crisis affecting the global population, concerns have arisen as to whether many will be able to afford the investment into EVs, especially as incentives are slowly withdrawn. However, from a financial perspective, EVs are a worthy expenditure.

Firstly, reports have shown that despite rising energy costs, it remains far cheaper to charge an EV than to fill up a tank of petrol with electricity prices remaining lower than the cost of petrol. Alongside this, the increasing investment and proliferation of charge point infrastructure allows fleet managers to choose the charger or vehicle that best fits their organisation and employees’ needs and budgets.

In preparation for fleet electrification, there are many online resources allowing businesses to decipher key data such as how much CO2 their fleet currently emits, or the potential tax savings of electrifying their fleet. Here at Daloop, we recently launched our EV charge point calculator, helping organisations to calculate the number of charge points needed in staff car parks through a simple formula using staff numbers and fleet management estimates, such as the percentage of staff using a personal vehicle and those who have access to home charging. These tools reiterate the innovations leading to cost-savings associated with electric mobility.

Implementing an EV charging infrastructure, especially for consumer-facing businesses such as retailers and leisure companies, can also be monetised to create a new income stream. Not only this, but EV charging facilities encourage customers to stay longer in-store or on-site, potentially leading to for higher customer spending. For businesses in other sectors, installing local charging infrastructure can create further revenue through also create revenue through energy optimisation schemes.

While some have been scrapped – most notably the plug-in grant – financial incentives remain to electrify fleets. In the UK, electric mobility is currently exempt from annual road tax and the workplace charging scheme is still in operation (in which businesses can subsidise staff charge point installation with a government grant).  Meanwhile, for London-based fleets, EVs are eligible for the Cleaner Vehicle Discount.

Optimising investment

A growing number of businesses are considering or have already started electrifying their fleets. This will only continue as confidence grows, which will naturally take place as more people join the transition and EV infrastructure expands.

But for any business that transitions to an electrified fleet, data-driven supervision is essential. To truly optimise their investment, it is beneficial to have an intelligent software solution that can link vehicles, charge points, the electric grid, and the driver to ensure maximum control, confidence, and oversight.

Having a data-driven management platform enables fleet managers to prioritise charge points in offices and depots for commercial vehicles, meaning that these vehicles have enough journey charge on any given day. It can also ensure that they optimise energy usage, providing businesses with the means to continue making the best financial decisions for their fleet long after the initial transition.

The software that fleet managers and businesses use to manage their operations during and after their electric transition is just as essential in keeping their vehicles operational as the charge points themselves. With the correct, data-driven approach, the EV transition can be a seamless and valuable choice for any individual or business without compromising on either efficiency or costs.

With new technologies and infrastructural improvements, continued emission reduction legislation, and the many financial and environmental benefits, transitioning to an electric fleet is becoming easier and EV anxiety is fading. Fleet electrification is no longer simply desirable – it has become inevitable.

Connecting EV batteries to national grid ‘key to solving the energy crisis’

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To solve the energy crisis and green the grid, we need to massively ramp up battery storage to help power the national and international grid; the successful trials of ‘Vehicle to Grid’ technology proves that electric vehicles (EVs) could do just that.

That’s the view of Aidan McClean (pictured), CEO of UFODRIVE and author of ‘Electric Revolution’ following a successful UK trial of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology connected the dots between an efficient, on-demand energy grid and the rapid uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). Drivers in Milton Keynes were given this technology, and at peak times were able to sell energy back –from their cars to either power their homes or the grid at large.

Through charging the vehicle during periods of low energy cost, such as at night, and powering the national grid or home during periods of high cost, users reduced energy costs by at least 40%, some to zero. Furthermore, charging the car during periods of high renewables generation and powering the home during fossil fuel generation (when renewable sources aren’t producing) allowed for reductions in carbon emissions of at least 25%, with some achieving 100% when timed correctly.

At a similar time, an Open Letter to the European Commission was penned by major market leaders in battery storage technologies. It argued that Europe’s net zero, geopolitically-independent energy goals, summed up in the REpowerEU plan, require a huge increase in battery storage infrastructure.

This letter argues that a renewable-powered grid needs a backup energy source when the sun isn’t shining or the wind blowing. Traditionally, this may have been gas, but this is now clearly not feasible due to the EU’s over-reliance on Russian gas supplies.

EVs help to power a more flexible energy grid

Here, the dots seem intrinsically connected: EVs could help achieve this flexible, cheap, and independent on-demand energy grid. According to Virta Global, there will be 140-240 million electric vehicles globally by 2030, which means that we’ll have at least 140 million small, portable energy storage batteries on wheels with an aggregated storage capacity of 7 TWh, or 7000 GWh.

In 2021, only 2.4 GW of storage was developed in Europe, but various studies predict we’ll need around 200 GW of energystorage by 2030; so there clearly needs to be a significant increase in battery storage capacity. Yet when you combine the numbers, you can see that even just a small percentage of EVs with V2G potential could provide the increase in battery storage that we need.

McClean says: “The V2G trials were a blinding success – and show both how flexible and useful EV batteries can be. With proper infrastructure and market rules, ensured by effective top-down policy, they could not only massively reduce pollution from our roads but also be the plan B energysource our grid needs to ensure capacity.

“This effectively combats one of the biggest issues renewables have when used as a primary energy source – there are extended periods when production is zero, such as on still days or dark nights. We used to combat this issue with natural gas – but not only is this still polluting, but also is geopolitically tenuous to say the least.

Developing efficient vehicle-to-grid infrastructure

Aidan continues: “The answers to this problem have always been numerous and obvious, if difficult to implement at-large; battery storage, efficient grid management, supply-side control, demand-side response, and pumped hydroelectric storage are all essential. We will need to use all of these en-masse to futureproof and green our energy grid.

“However, an obvious solution has been staring us in the face: if every EV battery by 2030 could plug into and power the grid or someone’s home, Europe would have more battery storage capacity than it could ever need.

“This still needs some work, however. At the moment, not all EVs offer a vehicle to grid option. For example, Teslas don’t yet have this capability and occasionally have declined to consider implementing it – as it could be argued that vehicle to the grid would compete with Tesla’s own Powerwall business. This must change if we want to achieve an effective net zero grid – we need unified technologies to provide solutions, not a spitefully fragmented market.

“As is so often the case – a lack of top-down policy, and a lack of care for universal accessibility by current titans of industry, is holding us back from an efficient V2G solution. We need clear, unified and brave public policy; and accessible and universal manufacturing standards; in order to embrace the technologies that are so clearly the answer to some of our biggest problems”.

Veolia uses hydrotreated vegetable oil for first renewable fleet

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Broadland District Council’s latest contract for all waste collection services including residual, recycling and food waste and for street cleaning with Veolia will see the FM specialist utilise a renewably-fuelled fleet for the first time.

The 10 year contract that started in April 2022 has an option for an extension of up to a further 10 years.

Reducing energy consumption and reaching carbon neutrality is essential for combating climate change and the new contract includes a commitment to reduce operational emissions and to develop low carbon solutions. This supports Broadland District Council’s priority to protect the environment and for continuous environmental improvement.

Every vehicle in the fleet is fully powered by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a bio-based liquid fuel made from vegetable oils and animal fats. HVO is a low carbon, low emission, fossil-free and sustainable alternative to conventional fossil diesel which eliminates up to 90% of net CO2 and reduces nitrogen oxide (NOX), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.

HVO fuel is fully interchangeable with conventional diesel and can be used pure or blended with fossil diesel if required. The fleet in the Broadland district will be solely powered by HVO in a first for Veolia in the UK.

Councillor Judy Leggett, portfolio holder for Environmental Excellence, said: “We’re very pleased to be continuing our very successful working relationship with Veolia through the award of this major new contract. The contract brings together an excellent service for residents with innovative new approaches which will help to make our waste and recycling services more effective and even more environmentally friendly. This new contract will help drive us towards our aim of being carbon neutral well ahead of the Government’s 2050 target.”

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director Municipal, Veolia UK said: “We’re delighted to launch our first fully HVO powered fleet in Broadland. HVO significantly reduces CO2 emissions so this is a hugely positive step in our shared commitment to net zero. Importantly, whilst the availability of HVO is still limited in the UK, Veolia has secured a guaranteed supply for the entire contract term.”

The new contract also offers residents an enhanced service with the introduction of weekly kerbside collections of small electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and textile collections.

The Council will continue to roll out food waste collections and will now be able to achieve its goal of food waste collections to all Broadland residents in 2023.

Environmental Audit Committee issues warning over gigafactories

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Reaching the UK’s ambition to host a further five ‘gigafactories’ to produce batteries for electric vehicles could reach a road block unless Government backing increases, the Environmental Audit Committee has warned.

While 2021 has seen welcome announcements, with gigafactories planned for the North East — in Blyth and on Wearside — and proposed in the West Midlands, the Committee asserts a further 100GWh of gigafactory capacity is needed to meet ambitions for the production of battery electric vehicles in the UK for sale on the domestic and EU markets.

Gigafactories are a significant enterprise, costing between £2 billion and £4 billion to establish. The Committee heard evidence that typically, other governments are supporting factories with £750 million per plant. The Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund – at £500 million – is expected to support the establishment of subsequent gigafactories, but appear insufficient to support the establishment of any further plants, let alone the additional five estimated to be required by 2027.

The Committee is clear that the UK, with its strong automotive base and innovative clusters across the country, has a golden opportunity to attract factories manufacturing electric vehicle batteries.

Plans to source lithium in Cornwall will enhance the UK’s potential advantage in the production of batteries and will contribute to building a sustainable supply chain.

However, the UK will remain reliant for the bulk of its critical raw materials on suppliers from third countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where significant concerns have been raised about the way in which these materials are being extracted.

The Committee urges the Government to consider a critical raw materials strategy to manage issues effectively, such as supply interruption, to ensure that we have sufficient raw materials to be used in batteries manufactured in the UK.

Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said: “Recent announcements of plans to build gigafactories for electric vehicle batteries in the UK are clearly welcome; bringing together the UK’s strengths in automotive manufacturing and low carbon innovation. We applaud this, as well as the Government’s collaboration with industry on this issue, which should secure the future of many thousands of jobs in the automotive sector.

“But to meet net zero Britain we still need to take it up a gear. If we are to continue manufacturing vehicles to sell into the EU and UK at our current rate, the industry estimates we will need five more gigafactories up and running by 2027. We doubt the £500 million Government funding left in reserve for automotive transformation will be sufficient to secure the additional 100GWh of gigafactory output needed for the UK electric vehicle sector to reach its full potential. Without further government support, establishment of the battery electric vehicle sector in the UK, critical to maintain our auto industry supply chain, will reach a dead end.

“We already know we have thriving clusters well equipped to host gigafactories – but the UK’s potential extends beyond simply manufacturing. Lithium — a crucial component for electric vehicle batteries — has been found in Cornwall. Extracting this crucial raw material in a sustainable way at scale could extend the UK’s supply chain and support the shift to electric vehicles.”

‘Europe’s most powerful’ EV charging hub confirmed for Oxford

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UK-based Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and Oxford City Council have joined up with Fastned, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea to deliver what they are calling Europe’s most powerful EV charging Superhub.

The hub, initially featuring 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers in a single site, is the most powerful in Europe – with up to 10MW of power on site – and will scale up to help meet the need for EV charging in the area for the next 30 years. It is the first of up to 40 similar sites planned across the UK to help deliver charging infrastructure needed for the estimated 36 million EVs by 2040.

Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site, at Redbridge Park & Ride, is directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, to provide the power needed to charge hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without putting strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.

This network, developed by Pivot Power, has capacity to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass EV charging needs, from buses and taxis to commercial fleets.

Fastned will initially install ten chargers at the Superhub with 300kW of power, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for up to hundreds of EVs per day. The station will be powered by 100% renewable energy, partly generated by the company’s solar roof, and all makes and models of EVs will be able to charge at the highest rates possible simultaneously.

The announcement is a key milestone in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), due to open in Q4 this year, and comes as Oxford is set to launch the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone this August, where vehicles are charged based on their emissions, with EVs able to use the zone for free.

The £41m world-first project, led by Pivot Power, integrates EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to support Oxford to be zero carbon by 2040 or earlier. ESO will save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 every year once opened later in 2021, equivalent to taking over 2,000 cars off the road, increasing to 25,000 tonnes by 2032. It provides a model for cities around the UK and the world to cut carbon and improve air quality.

Matt Allen, CEO at Pivot Power, said: “Our goal is to help the UK accelerate net zero by delivering power where it is needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution. Oxford is one of 40 sites we are developing across the UK, combining up to 2GW of battery storage with high volume power connections for mass EV charging. Energy Superhub Oxford supports EDF’s plan to become Europe’s leading e-mobility energy company by 2023, and is a blueprint we want to replicate right across the country, working hand in hand with local communities to create cleaner, more sustainable cities where people want to live and work.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council, added: “For Oxford to go zero carbon by 2040, we need to electrify a lot more of our transportation. As an innovative city embracing technologies and change, Oxford is the natural home for the UK’s largest public EV charging hub. We are excited to be taking a major step forward in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford, working closely and superbly with our private sector partners. As an ambitious city, we are excited about the prospect of further innovation and investments, building upon our record of transformational public and private sector delivery.”

Government plans to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality will see millions of EVs in use by 2030, and the project will show how this can be achieved while maintaining a stable and cost-effective electricity network. To accelerate the delivery of ESO, the Government has contributed £10 million to the project via UKRI’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme.

CENTRICA: UK firms to invest £15.8bn in EVs this year

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Research conducted by Centrica Business Solutions has revealed that UK firms spent £10.5bn on electric vehicles (EVs) and on-site charging points during the year to March 2021, and are now planning £15.8bn of investment in the same area over the next 12 months – a 50% increase year-on-year.

Two fifths (40%) of those questioned said they had increased the total number of EVs within their fleet between April 2020 and March 2021.

Of these businesses, six in ten (58%) cited the need to meet corporate sustainability targets as the biggest driving factor behind their increased adoption of EV, followed by reducing operational disruption caused by low and zero-emission zones (51%) and the attraction of the lower maintenance and whole-life costs offered by EVs (37%).

Four in ten (43%) businesses hadn’t increased EV numbers at all and 10% decreased their EV fleet size. Range anxiety was reported as the chief concern for a third (34%) of these firms, followed by the need to prioritise business investment elsewhere during the height of the coronavirus crisis (32%).

Despite this, two-thirds (67%) of all companies polled claimed they are well-prepared to operate a fully electric fleet by 2030, when the Government’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles comes into effect.

46% of businesses polled plan to install charging points on their premises to facilitate the uptake of EVs across the next twelve months, although more than a third (37%) have already installed this infrastructure. The research also revealed that three in ten (30%) firms have already invested in on-site technology capable of generating the energy to charge their fleet of EVs, such as solar panels, while almost half (48%) plan to do this in the future. 

Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: “Despite the disruption of the past year, it’s encouraging to see investment in EVs remain a key priority for many businesses. The fact that firms are planning to increase their spending so dramatically over the next 12 months is proof that more businesses are recognising the advantages of adopting low-emission vehicles, especially as they recover from coronavirus and seek to create sustainable growth.

“Now that 2030 is set in stone as the end of new petrol & diesel sales we need to ensure three things to help get us there, sufficient electric vehicles to meet demand, reliable charging infrastructure that’s available to all and a flexible energy system that can deliver green power where it’s needed.”

Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister, said: “As we accelerate towards our net-zero future, I’m delighted to see UK firms at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution.

“With British businesses set to increase their investment in electric vehicles by 50%, the message is clear – the future is electric. With generous government grants and tax incentives which could save drivers over £2,000 a year, there has never been a better or more exciting time to make the switch.”

Solvay and Veolia partner on electric vehicle batteries

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Solvay and Veolia have announced a partnership on a circular economy consortium to offer new solutions that promise better resource efficiency for critical metals used in lithium ion electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

With the number of electric vehicles on the road expected to grow from 8 million in 2020 to 116 million by 2030, the partners state that ensuring stable access to raw materials is a strategic challenge. Furthermore, they claim materials used today in EV batteries are not always recovered at their maximum value. 

Solvay and Veolia, through its subsidiary SARP Industries, say they are already actively engaged in discussions with a car manufacturer and battery cell producers, to coordinate, collaborate and leverage on respective technologies and core competences at each step of the value chain – from access and spent battery feedstock to dismantling, metal extraction and purification. 

Solvay’s role in this consortium is to optimize the extraction and purification of critical metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium and transform them into high-purity raw materials for new batteries, ready for another fresh start. Solvay is also present in the EV and hybrid battery value chain thanks to its high-performance specialty polymers for binders and separators and specialty additives for electrolytes. 

“I am truly excited about our partnership with Veolia, aiming to take circularity another meaningful step forward towards cleaner mobility,” explained Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri. “At Solvay, our technologies will bring new life to batteries at the end of their cycle. Our unique know-how combining Specialty Polymers, Composites and Mining solutions together with Veolia’s unique experience in waste management, is a fantastic opportunity to build a greener battery ecosystem.” 

In its recycling plant in eastern France, Veolia has already been dismantling batteries for electric vehicles since 2013. The combination of mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes makes it possible to treat the active cells and extract the active metals. These metals are then used by industry and transformed into new materials. Press Release 2 

“The recycling of electric vehicle batteries and the management of the pollutants they contain are major ecological and industrial challenges. By partnering, Veolia and Solvay help develop the recycling value chain and the production of strategic raw materials for the production of new batteries. If today the essential compounds of batteries are mainly imported, tomorrow they will be regenerated in Europe”, said Antoine Frérot Chairman and CEO of Veolia. 

Establishing this partnership is integral to Solvay Group’s sustainability ambitions and its Solvay One Planet commitments. By 2030, Solvay will generate 15% of its revenues from either bio-based or recycled-based materials.