- Honda announced a deal with battery recycler Ascend Elements on Monday for the supply of recycled lithium-ion battery material.
- Under the agreement, Ascend Elements will provide the automaker with recycled nickel, cobalt and lithium for its electric vehicles produced in North America.
- The deal builds on the two companies' existing partnership — Ascend Elements has recycled used lithium-ion batteries for Honda since 2021.
With critical minerals such as graphite and lithium becoming increasingly sparse and expensive, Honda is among the automakers turning to recyclers to fill the supply gap. Battery material recyclers and manufacturers, meanwhile, are working to ramp up their operations to meet the demand.
Ascend Elements is currently in the process of building a $1 billion battery materials recycling facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which will produce enough EV battery material annually to power more than 250,000 electric vehicles.
Others in the sector are also scaling up and forming high-profile partnerships.
In December, battery recycler Redwood Materials announced it would spend $3.5 billion on a new battery materials facility in Charleston, South Carolina. And in September, GM signed an agreement with Lithion Recycling to use the company's advanced battery recycling technology.
Ascend Elements' deal with Honda is also an example of the growing push among EV makers to create "closed loop" battery supply chains. Such systems aim to limit the amount of wasted critical materials by reclaiming battery parts.
Honda is striving to reach carbon neutrality throughout the product life cycle by 2050, as part of a broader sustainability plan, which includes 100% use of sustainable materials and 100% utilization of carbon-free electricity. The company is also in the midst of building an EV battery plant in Ohio, as it targets having EVs represent 100% of its vehicle sales in North America by 2040.