Hyundai Canada has entered into an agreement with Quebec-based Lithion Recycling to recover and recycle high-voltage batteries from some of its hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles, the company announced on March 11. Hyundai is the first automotive manufacturer in Canada to make an official service agreement with Lithion. The goal of the agreement is to increase the sustainability of Hyundai Canada’s electric vehicle production cycle.
As Hyundai Canada continues to prioritize electric vehicle production, the company is committed to “develop[ing] a sustainable end-of-life disposal model for these batteries,” says Michel Poirier, director of customer experience and aftersales with Hyundai Auto Canada.
According to the release, Lithion developed a process for recycling lithium-ion batteries that is both efficient and cost-effective. Lithion uses hydrometallurgy instead of combustion, purifying the various metals contained in the cathode rather than burning them. This process allows 95% of battery components to be recovered and treated so battery manufacturers can reuse them later.
For Lithion Recycling, the agreement with Hyundai validates the hydrometallurgy process as an “economic and innovative technology that considerably reduces the carbon footprint compared to incumbent technologies and mining,” says Benoît Couture, president and CEO of Lithion Recycling.
According to Couture, Lithion Recycling hopes its partnership with Hyundai will “pave the way” for similar business models in the future, “enabling battery safe disposal and close loop recovery” of metals and minerals used in lithium-ion batteries.
Lithion is using its 10,000-square-foot plant in Anjou, Quebec, on the last development stages of industrial-scale piloting. The company’s first commercial plant is due to open in 2022.