Unternehmen&Trends Digitalausgabe 01/2022

31 an average range of 100 kilometres per charging process, which then corresponds to a mileage of 50.000 to 100.000 kilometres. The manufacturer’s warranties for electric car batteries are also in this range. Almost all manufacturers guarantee a service life of eight years and a mileage of 160.000 to 240.000 kilometres. However, these figures are likely to be the basis for further efficiency gains in terms of range and service life, as all manufacturers are conducting intensive research into improving the performance of the batteries. A service life of 15 years does not seem out of the question. When we talk about the service life of an e-car battery, we usually mean the period of time during which its performance is sufficient for use in the car. After approximately 2000 to 2500 charging processes, the batteries currently in use still have an energy content of 70 to 80 percent of their capacity at the beginning of their life cycle. This means that they do not necessarily have to be disposed of or that their continued use in stationary operation – in so-called “second life” – can make perfect sense both economically and ecologically. Pilot operations in which old batteries are connected together and used as stationary power storage units for solar or wind energy are interesting approaches. However, there is still a lack of systematic business models that would make the economically viable secondary recycling of old batteries in larger quantities appear sensible within a circular economy. And there are justified doubts about the systematic development of efficient “second life” systems in view of the lack of standardisation in terms of both constructional design and technical performance data - in contrast to the car batteries used in combustion vehicles. If these were available, the total service life of an e-car battery would be extended by around ten to twelve years to a total of around 20 years. However, this assumption should not give the deceptive impression that one can still take one’s time with solving the disposal problem. One of the main reasons for dealing with it more quickly is the high cost of procuring the necessary raw materials. Today’s lithium-ion batteries are largely made of aluminium, steel or plastics and are produced using raw materials such as lithium, manganese, cobalt, nickel and graphite. Cobalt and lithium in particular are only available in limited quantities or are difficult to extract. Experts expect a shortage of cobalt in particular in the coming years because of its importance for the production of electrical devices, whereas lithium has come under criticism because of its environmentally harmful effects during mining. This makes the recovery of valuable raw materials in the recycling process seem almost imperative for the future. There is no doubt about the technical feasibility of recycling e-car batteries. According to Denis Stijepic autoregion e.V. https://t1p.de/9zqv Contact https://t1p.de/xp0v8 Events https://t1p.de/v3se Press releases https://t1p.de/tr5k Share Summary Wohin damit – droht uns ein Entsorgungsproblem bei alten E-Auto-Batterien? Von Armin Gehl, Geschäftsführer des autoregion e.V., Saarbrücken Während die Förderung von Wasserstoff und synthetischen Kraftstoffen immer mehr in den Schatten verkehrspolitischer Aktivitäten im Transformationsprozess von fossilen Antriebsarten hin zu klimaschonenden bzw. CO2-neutralen Alternativen zu geraten droht, scheint der Siegeszug des batterie-elektrischen Antriebs ungebrochen. Entgegen dem allgemeinen Trend stiegen in Deutschland die Neuzulassungen von Elektroautos in 2021 um 83 Prozent gegenüber dem Vorjahr – und das trotz Lieferengpässen bei Elektronikbauteilen und sich daraus ergebenden Produktionsverzögerungen. Die durchaus berechtigte Euphorie über diesen Anstieg wird jedoch getrübt, wenn man das Augenmerk auf die nach wie vor nicht befriedigend gelöste Problematik der Entsorgung nicht mehr brauchbarer Batterieeinheiten lenkt. Drohen uns Berge alter, nicht mehr verwendbarer Batterien? Die Industriegeschichte ist voll von nicht zu Ende gedachter, zunächst als innovativ und fortschrittlich … Weiterlesen https://t1p.de/ddmb of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, the recovery of cobalt and nickel has already achieved remarkable results, whereas there is still considerable development potential for lithium, graphite and manganese. The decisive factors for the results of the recycling process are the quality and quantity that can be achieved at what cost and under what environmental conditions. The procurement of raw materials on the world markets is still the more favourable alternative from a cost point of view compared to a regulated and analytical recycling process. But here, too, the limited availability will change the sign of the cost calculation. This realisation is driving almost all vehicle manufacturers – VW and Tesla in the lead – to develop their own recycling processes. According to general estimates, the share of recycled material in the production of electric batteries could be around 40 percent in 2050. The associated business prospects are also attracting companies that do not have their roots in the traditional automotive business. The classic automotive supplier companies are falling by the wayside. A study conducted by PwC on behalf of CLEPA, the European suppliers’ association, comes to the conclusion that the processing of battery materials requires fundamentally different know-how, both in terms of products and production processes, which is not available in the same way in supplier companies focused on conventional combustion engine technology. Small and medium-sized companies, which currently account for about 20 per cent of the supplier market, are particularly at risk. Alarming is the study’s finding that corresponding battery activities would not only not take place in the same companies, but also in other regions. This means that we are currently not in a position, either in terms of personnel or expertise, within the automotive industry to create corresponding battery disposal capacities. Such news should reverberate in the ears of those responsible in industry and politics and urgently be taken into account in the design of structural framework conditions. German manufacturers such as Daimler, BMW and VW, along with Tesla, are still asserting their position as global innovation drivers in electromobility when it comes to questions of product design. But the example of nuclear energy shows that long-term and sustainable success will only be granted to those who can prove their innovative strength along the entire value chain. And in the case of e-mobility, this also includes the disposal of old batteries.