Oct 27, 2022 - Economy

Ascend Elements raises $200 million to recycle EV batteries

Illustration of three EV chargers forming a recycling symbol.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Ascend Elements, a Westborough, Mass.-based lithium-ion battery recycler, raised $200 million in Series C funding led by Fifth Wall Climate.

Why it matters: Recycling could be key to helping electric vehicle manufactures meet rising demand.

  • Battery supply chains already are under strain from raw material shortages, and the Inflation Reduction Act tied EV tax credits to raw materials sourcing.
  • Plus the obvious environmental benefits.

Other investors include SK Ecoplant, Oman Investment Authority, Lithium Americas, GLy Capital Management, Mirae Asset Capital, Shinhan GIB and insiders Hitachi Ventures, InMotion Ventures, TDK Ventures, Orbia Ventures, At One Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures.

  • Ascend also secured $100 million in debt, and recently received $480 million via two Energy Department grants.

The bottom line: A study by UC Davis researchers found that recycling could meet up to 11% of lithium demand by 2035. Plus up to 18% for cobalt and 17% for nickel. Another white paper, from the International Council on Clean Transportation, concluded that 90% of critical materials needed for EV batteries could be sourced via recycling by 2040.

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