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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Two European industrial firms announced on Monday a joint venture to recycle battery materials and aluminum from electric vehicles in Norway, where EVs are gaining substantial market share.

Driving the news: The Swedish company Northvolt and the Norwegian aluminum giant Norsk Hydro plan to establish initial recycling operations next year.

  • The company also plans to have a "full-scale recycling plant" at the big battery factory it's building in Sweden.
  • Overall, Northvolt aims to source half its raw materials from recycled batteries within 10 years.

Why it matters: Recycling efforts can cut the ecological footprint of EVs, and the "circular economy" is a pillar of the European Union environmental strategy — it's even name-checked in a major pandemic stimulus proposal last week.

  • And per the Financial Times (subscription), which first reported the joint venture, the Northvolt-Norsk Hydro JV is "part of Europe’s effort to build a green battery industry to take on Tesla and Asian rivals."

What they're saying: "The partnership with Hydro is an important piece of the puzzle to secure an external feed of material before our own batteries begin returning back to us," Emma Nehrenheim, a top environmental exec at Northvolt, said in announcing the plan.

Go deeper

Battery firm QuantumScape taps public markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Yet another transportation startup plans to take the shortcut to an IPO and this time, it's a battery company.

What's happening: QuantumScape, a battery startup backed by Volkswagen and Bill Gates, said on Thursday it plans to go public through a reverse merger with Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp.

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."