Mercedes-Benz’s China unit is tapping China’s largest battery maker, CATL, and two major battery material recyclers – GEM Co. and Brunp Recycling Co. -- to recycle retired batteries used in electrified vehicles.
The four companies will form a so-called closed-loop battery recycling project, according to a memorandum of understanding signed Monday, GEM and Brunp said on their websites.
Mercedes-Benz China will hand over retired batteries once used to power EVs and plug-in hybrids to GEM and Brunp, which will retrieve key raw materials including nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium.
The two recycling companies will ship materials to CATL to build new batteries for Mercedes-Benz’s electrified vehicles.
The deal underscores how automakers and suppliers are racing to secure raw materials used in EV batteries as the industry transitions from fossil fuels to new energy sources. Nickel, cobalt and lithium prices in recent years have soared worldwide in anticipation of growing demand for EVs and the batteries that propel them.
The four companies will also cooperate and conduct “extensive and in-depth exploration and cooperation surrounding battery-recycling technology and business models,” GEM and Brunp noted.
Mercedes-Benz, with joint venture partner BAIC Motor Co., produces a wide range of gasoline vehicles and four full electric crossovers – the EQA, EQB, EQC and EQE – in China.
In 2022, the German luxury car maker delivered 751,700 locally built and imported vehicles in China, a decline of one percent from a year earlier.
Mercedes-Benz has not disclosed its EV sales in China last year.