BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (February 18, 2019) - The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has today announced a new partnership with Umicore - the Belgian materials technology and recycling group - as official battery recycling supplier, to recycle the lithium-ion battery units and cells used during the first two seasons of the electric street racing series.
The Formula E batteries from season one and two, created by Williams Advanced Engineering, have been collected and are in the process of being recycled by Umicore. The process comprises of sorting, dismantling and recycling with valuable metals being carefully recovered using proprietary and unique smelting technology - followed by hydrometallurgical treatment.
The metals in the battery are infinitely recyclable without losing their properties. After collection, the batteries are taken apart using methods to ensure the environment isn’t exposed to hazardous compounds. Recycling includes the recovery of the metals and transformation into metal alloys that will be used again in new rechargeable batteries, or other products.
Umicore is one of only a few companies worldwide to offer a complete recycling journey. Its unique ‘closed loop’ approach for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries ensures there’s minimal waste or impact on the environment, which will be vital as the adoption of electric vehicles becomes more mainstream.
Umicore is a pioneer in providing customers in the rechargeable battery value chain with materials of a certified clean and ethical origin. The company has been ranked seventh in the 2019 top-100 of the world’s most sustainable companies published by Corporate Knights.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “This is an important moment for Formula E and I’m grateful to be partnering with Umicore on this initiative. Sustainability is at the core of both companies, and to be able to recycle our battery cells with a closed loop approach means we’re doing our utmost to limit the impact we have on the environment - while promoting a wider message of clean mobility.”
Kurt Vandeputte, Senior Vice-President Rechargeable Battery Materials Umicore, said: “It’s an honour for Umicore to demonstrate our closed loop business approach for the lithium-ion batteries in Formula E. After introducing our battery materials expertise as technology partner with MAHINDRA RACING in the championship, we’re excited to now also offer our ‘closing the battery loop’ sustainable recycling solution for the end-of-life batteries of season one and two.”
Paul McNamara, Technical Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “Williams Advanced Engineering has long been leading the way on electrification of racing and sustainable transport, which can only be truly sustainable if the products involved are recyclable. The team at Williams Advanced Engineering takes great pride in its foundational role enabling the launch and development of Formula E across its first four seasons, with batteries that ran at better than 99.5 per cent race reliability. We congratulate Formula E on the unveiling of this initiative.”
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Photo caption - The Williams Advanced Engineering battery powered Formula E cars the equivalent distance to the Moon and back - 240,000 km over 45 races.
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About the ABB FIA Formula E Championship:
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is the closest, most intense and progressive category in motorsport, bringing electrifying racing to the streets against the backdrop of landmarks, skyscrapers and skylines in some of the world’s most famous and recognisable cities - such as Hong Kong, Rome, Paris and New York.
Formula E enters a new and exciting era in season five with the competitive debut of the next generation car. The striking new model boasts a distinctive futuristic design and demonstrates a clear step-up in performance with almost double the energy storage capacity - allowing teams and drivers to complete a full race distance at higher speeds without needing to swap cars. The Gen2 car is a testament to the ongoing advancements in battery and electric vehicle technology in the space of only four years.
The fifth edition of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will see 11 teams and 22 drivers tackle a variety of challenging circuits in 12 cities - across five continents - in a bid to be crowned champion. Formula E made its debut in the Middle East on December 15 for the season-opener in Ad Diriyah, with the championship once again coming to a close in New York City over the course of two days on July 13 & 14.
The concept of Formula E is to act as a platform to test and develop road-relevant technologies, helping refine the design and functionality of components and infrastructure - actively speeding-up the transition and uptake of electric vehicles on a global scale.
Formula E is continuing to attract some of the leading names and renowned brands in motorsport and the automotive industry. For this season, Formula E has nine manufacturers on its roster - including Nissan - taking over the existing entry from Renault - and BMW linking-up with Andretti. This number is set to rise further still, with the highly-anticipated inclusion of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in season six.
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ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalisation with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the fully-electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com
Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group. It focusses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: catalysis, energy & surface technologies and recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focussed business units, offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting-edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life. Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean mobility materials and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.
Umicore’s industrial and commercial operations - as well as R&D activities - are located across the world to best serve its global customer base. The Group generated a turnover of €14.8 billion (€3.3 billion excluding metal) in 2018 and currently employs 10,400 people.
Tatiana Cervak, Umicore External Affairs Manager
T // +32 (0) 478 991 500