Infinitev Spearheads Circular Economy for Hybrid and EV Batteries at the Battery Recycling and Manufacturing Summit

An amazing day of keynotes, panels and networking was held at the inaugural Australian Battery Recycling & Manufacturing Summit.

Infinitev was the proud title sponsor of the recent Battery Recycling and Manufacturing Summit, involved in both panel and keynote sessions regarding our circular economy vision and journey.

Infinitev, a subsidiary of IM Group, has been at the forefront of battery remanufacturing since 2015, initially specialising in NiMH chemistry batteries for hybrid EVs. Currently, their operations in Australia are achieving a remarkable run rate of approximately 1000 units. A significant milestone in their journey includes the recent establishment of a dedicated facility in New Zealand, further reinforcing their commitment to sustainable practices.

Central to Infinitev's approach is the innovative process of converting retired batteries into remanufactured ones. Depending on the make and model, the company ingeniously utilizes three retired batteries to create a single new remanufactured battery. This process not only adheres to the highest quality standards but also comes with an impressive 3-year/40,000km warranty, ensuring the reliability and durability of their products.

Through a partnership with The University of Melbourne, Infinitev commissioned a comprehensive lifecycle analysis study. This study unequivocally demonstrated the environmental benefits of their remanufacturing process, showcasing a staggering 96% reduction in CO2e emissions when compared to purchasing a virgin replacement pack. These findings underscore the company's commitment to reducing their carbon footprint and driving environmentally conscious business decisions.

Dickson Leow, Infinitev's General Manager, delivered a keynote speech at the Battery Recycling and Manufacturing Summit. With nearly a decade of experience in remanufacturing EV batteries in Australia, his insights shed light on the company's journey, accomplishments, and future endeavours.

Infinitev's visionary progress extends beyond hybrid vehicles, with plans to extend their remanufacturing expertise to plug-in EV batteries. Collaborative agreements with various EV manufacturers in both Australia and New Zealand have already been established, spanning light and heavy-duty vehicle categories.

The company's commitment to innovation is exemplified through their pilot battery energy storage system (BESS). Harnessing the synergy of their process knowledge and Relectrify's inverterless technology, Infinitev successfully created a 120kWh BESS from 9 retired gen 1 Nissan Leaf batteries (24kWh nameplate). This achievement, supported by a grant from Sustainability Victoria, not only affirmed the technical feasibility of repurposing EV batteries but also paved the way for commercializing the program.

Following the success of the pilot program, Infinitev secured a second grant from Sustainability Victoria's CEBIC program. This funding injection will facilitate the establishment of a specialised facility in Cranbourne West, VIC, dedicated to manufacturing BESS units. Anticipated to debut in 2024, these commercial BESS units will underscore Infinitev's commitment to circular economy practices and innovation.

Infinitev's ambitious goals are augmented by collaborations with international technology partners, ensuring the highest standards of quality and certification for their second-life BESS endeavours. Additionally, strategic partnerships with multiple EV manufacturers are poised to repurpose retired EV batteries, with an initial focus on heavy-duty vehicles due to their higher EV adoption rates and larger battery sizes.

The company's meticulous battery assessment process, beginning with the SafetyCheck and followed by the HealthCheck, guarantees the highest levels of safety and efficiency. Any cells deemed unsuitable for reuse are responsibly processed through partners specialising in end-of-life recycling, thereby preventing batteries from entering landfills and minimizing potential hazards.

Infinitev's commitment to sustainability extends to the end-of-life stage, with their partners in Australia processing batteries to create a valuable mixed metal dust known as black mass. This black mass plays a vital role in the extraction of critical metals such as lithium, cobalt, and manganese, contributing to the creation of new batteries.

Special thanks to Association for the Battery Recycling Industry, the Battery Stewardship Council, sponsors and attendees spanning many industries for their insights, openness and ambitions on a circular economy for EV batteries whilst collaborating on the investment and work required to be future ready.