Formula E announces battery recycling partnership

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has announced a new partnership to recycle lithium-ion batteries that were used during the first two seasons of the electric racing series.

Formula E announces battery recycling partnership

Umicore’s recycling process is designed to create minimum waste while reducing environmental exposure to hazardous compounds

Batteries created by Williams Advanced Engineering for use in vehicles during season one and two of Formula E have been collected for recycling by Belgian materials and recycling firm Umicore. The firm will process, sort, dismantle and recycle lithium-ion battery units and cells to recover metals that can be used in rechargeable batteries amongst other products.

Formula E’s founder Alejandro Agag 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.”

Umicore’s recycling process is designed to create minimum waste while reducing environmental exposure to hazardous compounds.

The announcement follows Formula E’s unveiling of Extreme E, a new off-road rally championship that will showcase cutting-edge electric vehicle (EV) technology in regions of the world most at risk from climate change.

Electric SUVs will race across locations that are threatened by deforestation, desertification, melting ice caps, rising sea levels and plastics pollution. The inaugural season will commence in 2021.

Award-winning director Fisher Stevens – director of the Before the Flood documentary – will be involved in the project to film parts in a documentary format to educate viewers on the threats of climate change.

Cool drive

While EVs are already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel alternatives in five European countries, both Formula E and Formula One are able to provide other low-carbon benefits.

Last year, supermarket Asda installed technology inspired by Formula One racing across stores, in a move that could reduce refrigeration energy consumption by 17% while lowering carbon emissions. Based on devices used by Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology has also been used by Sainsbury’s. The system steers cold air directly back down fridge units to stop cold air from spilling out onto the aisles. 

Williams Advanced Engineering’s technical director Paul McNamara said: “The team at Williams Advanced Engineering takes great pride in its foundational role enabling the launch and development of Formula E across its first four seasons, with batteries that ran at better than 99.5% race reliability. We congratulate Formula E on the unveiling of this initiative.”

Matt Mace

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