Sustainable Innovation

Formula E enlists Umicore for battery recycling

Company to recycle batteries used in all-electric racing series’ first two seasons.

by Sam Carp

Formula E enlists Umicore for battery recycling

The Formula E all-electric street racing series has announced Umicore as its official battery recycling supplier.

The collaboration will see the Belgian materials technology and recycling group recycle the lithium-ion battery units that were used during the championship’s first two seasons.

Formula E said all batteries from season one and two have been collected and are now being recycled by Umicore.

The process leads to the recovery of valuable metals using proprietary and smelting technology, followed by hydrometallurgical treatment. All metals that are recovered can then be used again in new rechargeable batteries or other products.

Alejandro Agag, founder and chief executive of Formula E, described the partnership as an “important moment” for the series, adding: “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 tie-up with Formula E sees the company build on its commitment to the series, having been a partner of the Mahindra Racing team since 2017.

“It’s an honour for Umicore to demonstrate our closed loop business approach for the lithium-ion batteries in Formula E,” added Kurt Vandeputte, senior vice president of rechargeable battery materials at Umicore, which in 2019 ranked seventh in a list of the world’s most sustainable companies.

“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.”

Formula E is currently in its fifth season, with the next race scheduled to take place in Hong Kong on 10th March.