Daimler announces battery repairing, remanufacturing, repurposing and recycling program

Daimler announces battery repairing, remanufacturing, repurposing and recycling program

DTNA says the circular economy approach strives to extend the usability of rare-earth materials and products.

Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) announced that it is integrating a comprehensive circular economy approach across its operations. This strategy emphasizes repairing, remanufacturing, repurposing and recycling lithium-ion battery materials used in DTNA’s electric vehicles.

With goals to maximize battery lifespans and reduce material waste, DTNA says the circular economy approach strives to extend the usability of rare-earth materials and products. DTNA says its advanced technology can discern when a lithium-ion battery no longer meets DTNA’s high standards required for vehicle use. This insight guides the decision on the optimal process to maximize materials for a second life, with repair taking precedence whenever possible.

While batteries receive significant attention due to their use of rare-earth metals like cobalt and nickel, DTNA’s approach extends to all components of the EV product.

Remanufacture

When a battery or electric vehicle component is beyond simple repair, it enters the remanufacturing process at existing Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing locations across the U.S. like the recently expanded Hibbing facility with intended reuse in vehicles. This process involves partial disassembly, module replacement and rigorous testing for optimized reliability. All remanufactured products are updated with the latest technology and must meet or exceed new product standards to be reintroduced to the market.

Repurpose

DTNA has partnered with Nuvation Energy to pilot a battery energy storage system (BESS) designed to assist in charging, peak shaving, backup storage and microgrid scenarios. This innovative solution enables DTNA to repurpose batteries that cannot be reused in a vehicle.

“We’re thrilled to announce the incorporation of DTNA’s first battery energy storage system units, designed by Nuvation Energy using Detroit battery modules, at Electric Island later this year,” said Rakesh Aneja, vice president and chief of the zero-emission transformation group at DTNA. “Battery energy storage systems play a pivotal role in the electric vehicle ecosystem, given the escalating demand for charging infrastructure and limitations of the current power grid. As the number of EVs on the road increases, the existing grid capacity may struggle to meet charging demands. Energy storage systems alleviate this issue by facilitating off-peak charging, utilizing stored power when needed, and reducing reliance on the grid.”

Recycle

DTNA has created a process in partnership with Li-Cycle, a lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, to responsibly recycle critical battery-grade materials for batteries that reach the end of their life cycle. Li-Cyle uses an environmentally friendly and safe method that recycles batteries within a liquid-based solution, achieving up to a 95% recovery rate for returning critical materials back to the battery supply chain while producing minimal water discharge.

“And then we have responsibility associated with recovering, the materials in that battery pack,” DTNA’s David Carson said in a press conference at ACT Expo. “We’re working with Li-Cycle, an amazing organization that’s developing a unique process with a water-based solution to recover approximately 95% of the material in a battery pack, with minimal clean water discharge. So, we’re pretty excited about exploring that opportunity to manage end-of-life battery responsibility that we have as an OEM.”

Path to net zero operations

In line with its sustainability goals, DTNA aims to achieve carbon neutrality for all new products and services from direct suppliers in Europe, the United States, and Japan by 2039.

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