There’s no denying that the recent surge in all-electric vehicles is re-framing the entire landscape of the automotive industry. Thankfully, there are a few brands that have managed to stay on the ball and come up with innovative solutions to new challenges. Naturally, one of them is Volkswagen, which recently launched a battery recycling program designed to make sure that eco-friendly tech doesn’t end up hurting the very land it was built to protect.
Volkswagen has long been at the forefront of the electrification movement, so it should come as no surprise that it’s taking measures to protect the environment from the new hurdles we need to clear. According to The News Wheel, the new initiative will attempt to extract “various metals like copper, nickel, manganese, lithium, cobalt, graphite, and aluminum.”
It’s also worth noting that this in-house solution isn’t even remotely new to Volkswagen. VW beat most of the industry to the punch by investing a fair amount of money into battery — and battery-recycling — systems at a time when competitors were fixated on burning fossil fuels like it was their job. Which, technically, it was.
The method through which Volkswagen will extract usable materials is equal parts intense and efficient. “[It] will use the high-tech LithoRec process to mechanically crush the battery modules and release a granulated form of their liquid electrolyte,” writes The News Wheel’s Daniel DiManna.
“After being passed through various sieves and magnetic belts, the resulting granulate is then separated back into its base components, including the aforementioned metals like aluminum and copper. These components can then be used to make new batteries with just as much functionality as those created with new materials.”
That may sound a bit wild, but innovation is what got Volkswagen to where it is today. If you want to experience the result of that innovation in person, feel free to schedule a test drive at Gossett Volkswagen of Germantown.