Battery Live Talk: Second Life vs. Recycling

Rethinking battery longevity in the age of scarce resources

Online | 29 June 2023 | 16:30 - 17:15 CET

What will be addressed?

  • When should we decide to recycle a battery instead of considering it for a Second Life application?
  • Will the costs for remanufacturing or recycling impact the likelihood of losing used batteries and their materials through exports?
  • Given the uneven distribution of recycling and remanufacturing facilities, will logistical and regulatory challenges ultimately determine whether a battery is recycled or remanufactured?


In our upcoming Battery LiveTalk, we will delve into the ongoing discussions around the comparison between Second Life applications and recycling in the context of batteries. We are happy to welcome Jan Tytgat, Umicore, and Michael Drechsel, Intelligent Energy System Services, on the virtual panel.

The energy density of batteries has made substantial advancements in recent years, allowing for the storage of significantly more energy with fewer raw materials. To illustrate this progress, let's consider a comparison of the gravimetric energy density between an iPhone 4 battery from 2010 and an iPhone 11 battery from 2019, which shows an impressive 20% increase. Furthermore, EV batteries are not necessarily designed with repurposing in mind and may become obsolete within a decade. Meanwhile, the cost of raw materials used in batteries has experienced a significant increase, resulting in consistently high prices in certain cases. Additionally, the accessibility of these materials is controlled by only a few countries. To address this situation, the EU has proposed the Critical Raw Materials Act, which suggests the establishment of recycling quotas as benchmarks.

At the same time, the utilization of Second Life applications presents an opportunity to prolong the lifespan of battery storage. By doing so, we can not only reduce costs but also save energy, as the production of new batteries becomes unnecessary. The proposed draft EU Regulation suggests that batteries should meet specific criteria at the end of their lifecycle, including undergoing a "health check" prior to repurposing. This approach, combined with extended producer responsibility obligations, aims to encourage battery repurposing while ensuring compliance with EU waste regulations and fostering consumer trust in the second-life battery market.

Join us for this virtual panel discussion!



This discussion format is free of charge and opens a channel for critical reflection on important questions that arise within the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) European Battery Innovation.

The event is organised by the accompanying research of the IPCEI EuBatIn, managed by VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. 

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