Daimler Truck North America recycles up to 95% of battery materials

Daimler Truck North America (Freightliner, Detroit Diesel) has detailed its end-of-life strategy for used electric truck batteries. The strategy uses a waterfall process in three stages: remanufacture, repurpose, and recycle. The company aims to achieve carbon neutrality for its entire operations by 2039.

When debating the environmental benefit of electric drivetrains compared to traditional combustion engines, the question is often asked: What happens with the batteries once they are worn or the vehicle is totaled? Often, a circular approach is the answer, where batteries can be given a second life.

Remanufacture, repurpose, recycle

Daimler Truck North America, previously known as Freightliner and part of the global Daimler Truck group (Mercedes Trucks), has explained what it will do with used batteries from its electric trucks, such as the eCascadia heavy-duty model. The strategy has three steps: remanufacture, repurpose, and recycle.

Remanufacturing (or refurbishing) of the batteries and eAxles is done at the existing Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing locations across the US. The battery packs are partially disassembled, and worn or old modules are replaced or updated. The packs are then tested to ensure reliability. They can then be used as spare parts or in used vehicles.

Music festival powered by truck batteries

Batteries are repurposed when they are no longer suitable for use in vehicles. For now, only a pilot project exists between Daimler Truck North America and Nuvation Energy, which supplies battery management solutions to companies worldwide, for example, to store solar energy for use at night. Daimler’s Detroit battery modules will be used at the Electric Island Festival in Toronto this summer.

Recycling is the final option when the battery no longer has any usable life left in it. Daimler Truck North America has partnered with Li-Cycle to recycle useful battery materials, with up to 95% recovery rate “while producing minimal water discharge.” Plans exist to expand this program beyond battery materials to increase the use of recycled materials.

 

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