Li-Cycle Holdings Corp., an industry leader in lithium-ion battery resource recovery and the leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, has signed a definitive agreement for a global lithium-ion battery recycling partnership with the KION Group, a leading global provider of industrial trucks and supply chain solutions. The Company is also pleased to announce plans to develop a new lithium-ion battery recycling facility in France, underpinned by regional commercial demand, including KION’s lithium-ion battery recycling needs.
Under the partnership, Li-Cycle will recycle lithium-ion batteries from KION’s global brands using its proprietary and innovative submerged shredding technology that is safe, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective. The agreement, which is for an initial period until 2030, has designated Li-Cycle as KION’s preferred global recycling partner to ensure that KION batteries are recycled sustainably.
“Li-Cycle is excited to be designated as KION’s preferred global recycling partner, as we continue to grow and diversify our customer portfolio to advance our expansion plans in Europe and help drive a sustainable and localized battery ecosystem,” said Tim Johnston, co-founder and Executive Chair of Li-Cycle. “Through our partnership, Li-Cycle expects to support both KION’s recycling needs and KION’s ability to align with the EU’s battery regulations. Together, we will build a circular battery supply chain and further support the clean energy transition.”
“With this strategic partnership, we are taking an important step towards the circular economy that we want to implement for our products,” said Henry Puhl, chief technology officer of KION. “The collaboration with Li-Cycle will further strengthen our position in the area of sustainability.”
“Li-Cycle’s sustainable Spoke & Hub process enables up to 95 percent of the mass of a lithium-ion battery to be recovered and the critical minerals contained in those batteries to be used to manufacture new batteries,” commented Andreas Krinninger, member of the Executive Board of KION. “This makes us one of the pioneers in the material handling industry in the field of recovery and recycling of lithium-ion batteries.”
KION currently has a global fleet of more than 1.7 million industrial trucks, which includes forklift and warehouse trucks, and is the largest industrial truck manufacturer in the EMEA region. Through the partnership, batteries from KION’s electric industrial trucks will be recycled in a safe and environmentally friendly manner to support the development of a sustainable, innovative, and localized battery supply chain in Europe. Li-Cycle expects to commence recycling of KION’s batteries at its Spoke in Germany, with start-up expected in mid-2023.
The Company is expanding its planned European Spoke network with the development of a new recycling facility in France. The growing lithium-ion battery ecosystem in France represents one of Europe’s largest battery end-of-life and cell manufacturing markets. This Spoke will be located in Harnes, in the Northern part of the country, where large global automotive OEMs have an established presence, and where plans to build three battery gigafactories have recently been announced.
As Li-Cycle continues to expand its operations in Europe, it is leveraging a highly replicable business model that the Company has proven in the North American market. The Company continues to strategically deploy Spoke recycling capacity in close proximity to key sources of supply of lithium-ion batteries and leverage its patented technology to continue to build upon its first mover advantage with an environmentally sustainable process.
Johnston commented, “Consistent with our strategy, Li-Cycle continues to scale in lockstep with our customers. As we advance the deployment of our highly replicable and proven Spoke & Hub model into the European market, our Spoke in France will better position us to support KION and the accelerating market growth in the country.”
Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France region where the France Spoke will be located, commented, “Hauts-de-France is proud to have been chosen by Li-Cycle to set up its first Spoke in France. This investment is very good news for our Region. Firstly, because it will create jobs, but above all, because it represents a new milestone for the ‘Battery Valley’ we are building in Hauts-de-France.”
Li-Cycle’s Spoke in France will be constructed in an existing building site with access to renewable energy. The plant is expected to have initial processing capacity of up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year, with optionality to expand to up to 25,000 tonnes per year. The France Spoke is expected to leverage Li-Cycle’s ‘Generation 3’ Spoke technology, which has the capability to directly process full electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage battery packs without any manual dismantling to enhance safety and cost-effectiveness. The France Spoke is expected to become operational in 2024 and is expected to bring Li-Cycle’s future planned capacity across its global Spoke network to more than 100,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year.
Li-Cycle’s first European Spoke will be located in Germany and will leverage the Company’s ‘Generation 3’ Spoke technology. The Germany Spoke is expected to be the Company’s largest Spoke facility to-date, with processing capacity for 30,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year, including main line and ancillary processing capacity. Li-Cycle is also developing a ‘Generation 3’ Spoke in Norway, which is expected to have processing capacity of up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year.