EIT InnoEnergy reveals significant investment in battery recycling start-up

EIT InnoEnergy has announced a substantial investment in MECAWARE, a French battery recycling start-up that aims to provide electric vehicles with recycled batteries.

This €2.5 million funding round, which is going towards building MECAWARE’s first pilot site in Lyon, France, comes as one in 12 cars sold across Europe between April and June 2021 ran on batteries alone. With electric vehicle (EV) sales projected to exceed 1.17 million in Europe this year, it is clear that there is a vital need for feasible, sustainable alternatives to meet battery demand through recycling.

Recycled batteries for electric vehicles

MECAWARE is a start-up that focuses on the recycling of technological waste from batteries, with the objective of providing EVs with recycled batteries by 2025. Through a newly established extraction process, it retrieves critical metals and rare minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and lanthanides in a sustainable way to enable their industrial reuse. Once complete, the strategic raw materials are returned to the market as “green ingots”, with very high levels of efficacy and purity – from 98% to >99.9% – in line with the industrial needs of the sector.

As well as financial support, EIT InnoEnergy will provide MECAWARE with access to its lively network of industry players through the European Battery Alliance, universities, on top of existing start-ups in the industry – and its numerous partners in the energy field.

Arnaud Villers d’Arbouet, president of MECAWARE, said: “This fundraising reinforces our position at a time when we are building our first commercial partnerships at the heart of the new generation European battery industry. The backing of EIT InnoEnergy will really help us on our path to the pilot project and beyond. We’re thrilled they and other industry players can see the potential in mission.”

MECAWARE has also obtained investment from UI Investissement, KREAXI, BNP Paribas Développement, Crédit Agricole Création and the Arts et Métiers Business Angels network, with the support of BPI France and BNP Paribas, the company’s historical bank.

Karine Vernier, CEO EIT InnoEnergy France, explained: “Globally, we are running out of time and resources to meet consumer demand for EVs. We know that cars are responsible for 12% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and through leading the European Battery Alliance, we are pioneering ways to promote a circular economy approach to battery materials. Our proven success in this area means we know together with MECAWARE and its other investors we can make a real impact on Europe’s EV ambitions and allow for greater recycling of key minerals.”

EIT InnoEnergy

EIT InnoEnergy functions at the core of the energy transition and is the primary driver for sustainable energy, providing the technology and skills necessary to support the green deal and Europe’s decarbonisation goals.

Known globally as the most active energy investor and one of the biggest climate tech and renewable energy tech investors in 2020, EIT InnoEnergy backs innovations across a range of areas. These include energy storage, transport and mobility, renewables and sustainable buildings and cities – leveraging its trusted ecosystem of 500+ partners and 23 shareholders.

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