Bebat Ebook

What will mobility look like in 2030? As of yet no one can answer this interesting question. Still, a number of clear evolutions are already starting to emerge that will fundamentally change our mobility as well as society in general. To sketch this vision of the future, we asked experts from all areas of the mobility industry to gaze into their crystal ball.

All these new and predominantly electric forms of mobility are also generating an exponential growth of the number of batteries. Not only do they have to be manufactured, they must also be recycled and given a second life - and maybe even a third. In other words, the mobility of the future holds major challenges for Bebat but... we are ready to meet them head-on! 2030 is closer than you think and after reading this e-book you will feel the same way.

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Welcome to 2030

Needless to say it’s hard to predict what the mobility industry will look like in 2030. However, there is no doubt that a number of evolutions and trends will challenge the status quo. This conclusion inspired us to peruse a number of recent studies and consult with a broad range of experts from the energy industry, the automotive industry, the lease sector, the academic world and the logistics industry to get their take on the next 10 years.

One thing is for certain: all these new and predominantly electric forms of mobility will generate an exponential growth of the number of batteries. Not only do these batteries have to be manufactured, they must also receive suitable aftercare after their first life.

  • You can read all about this subject in our e-book ‘E-Mobility Report’.
  • Our first e-book ‘E-mobility: What We Can Learn from Norway’ took a closer look at what the best pupils in the electromobility class were doing.

Bebat is the governing body for discarded batteries. Based on its mission and vision and in tandem with sorting centre Sortbat, Bebat has been an indispensable link in the economic value chain of batteries for more than a decade. In the past 6 years Bebat has collected, carefully transported, safely stored and - if the customer so wishes - examined and dismantled well over 10,000 EV batteries.

With this third e-book we aim to keep a finger on the pulse and make the necessary preparations to offer Bebat members the most suitable service possible. In other words, the mobility of the future holds major challenges for Bebat as well. As with other battery types, we want to collect these large EV batteries in growing numbers, upgrade the recycling process and reuse the valuable components safely in new applications. We can’t wait to get started.

Bebat, single point of contact for all battery types, wishes you lots of reading fun!

It’s been clear for some time that the advent of e-mobility comes with a host of changes and new challenges. E-mobility calls into question the current make-up of the mobility industry. This chapter takes a closer look at the way in which various players, including leasing companies, the energy industry, the logistics industry, car dealers, etc. are preparing for this disruptive breakthrough in light of 2030.

Will mobility become a collective concept in the future? What innovations are waiting on the horizon? How will the role of car dealers evolve? What role will energy suppliers play in the future? You will find the answers to these and many more questions below.

The year 2030 may seem a long way off but in reality it’s just around the corner. We asked several key figures from the industry to share their vision on the future of mobility and how they think the industry will evolve over the next decade. Their answers have enabled us to distill some interesting statements regarding the mobility industry in 2030.

Once it takes off, all bets are off.

Philippe Jacquemyns, Product Manager Volvo Trucks BeLux

Individual driving will be a lot less frequent

The mobility of tomorrow will definitely be electric, with a focus on the ‘in-car experience’. This does not preclude that ‘sporty’ driving on fossil fuels will also continue to exist. There’s a future for hydrogen-powered mobility but right now that technology is too expensive. Other key words for the future are ‘connected’ and ‘autonomous’. Private car ownership will become less frequent while shared mobility and mobility as a service will become more popular. It’s hard to predict how fast this evolution will take place. Society must be ready and I think it’s something for the next generation. We’ll have time to adapt. The big adventure is yet to start.

Stefan Kerckhoven, Managing Director Audi België/Belgique

The vehicle of the future is connected, autonomous, shared & electric

To be successful car dealers will have to take the CASE principle into account: connected, autonomous, shared and electric. Cars will be increasingly connected in the future. This is important because your car itself will notify the dealership that its tyres need replacing, that there’s a broken tail light or it’s time to have your car serviced. This data stream will become extremely important. Both for consumers and car dealers it’s much better to share data. Data will also enable our members to anticipate.

Pieter van Bastelaere, CEO Flanders Traxio

Car dealers will diversify their offer

We also have members who only sold cars in the past but who have expanded their range with bicycles and electric bicycles. On top of this, they also offer mobility solutions. In concrete terms: when you take your car in for maintenance, more and more dealers are offering a bicycle instead of a replacement vehicle. This kind of diversification is becoming increasingly common among our members.

Pieter van Bastelaere, CEO Flanders Traxio

E-mobility is about more than just cars

In fact, mobility becomes more than just the car. It becomes a combination of the car, with one or more other means of mobility. However, I am convinced that within 10 years the car, possibly in a slightly different form, will still play an essential role in our daily mobility..

Erik Swerts, Director Alphabet Belgium & Luxemburg

The future of batteries: a story of larger and smaller

The rise in the number of collected batteries from e-steps, e-bikes and the like is generating a greater influx of large batteries (+3 kg). On the other hand, we’re also seeing more batteries for mini-drones and other applications. That’s the other side of the spectrum as these batteries barely weigh 2 grammes. So it’s a combination of larger and smaller.

Peter Coonen, Managing Director Bebat

The city will become a place of public transport, light electric vehicles and conventional bicycles

By 2030 I think the average city will have banned and replaced cars, not only with combustion engine but in general, almost completely in favour of public transport, light electric vehicles such as e-steps or e-bikes, and conventional bicycles.

Annick Roetynck, Manager at LEVA-EU

There is no energy problem

When you add up all the energy we’re using today we need slightly more than 15 terawatts. The sun produces 85.000 terawatts so if we can harness just 1% of that energy and realize 2% efficiency, that would cover all of the world’s energy needs. Morocco are well on their way, in Belgium we still need to do some more work.

Mark Pecqueur, docent autotechnologie en onderzoeker op de Thomas More hogeschool

Zero emission = the objective

By 2030 I think the average city will have banned and replaced cars, not only with combustion engine but in general, almost completely in favour of public transport, light electric vehicles such as e-steps or e-bikes, and conventional bicycles.

Philippe Jacquemyns, Product Manager Volvo Trucks BeLux

Battery traceability must play a key role

The follow-up of the battery in the vehicle and the moment of removal will become very important. In addition to the standardisation of batteries in modules, battery traceability should also feature prominently on the agenda. Like the chassis of a car, every battery should have a unique number to ensure proper follow-up in terms of recycling and reuse.

Decrock Decrock, Legal & Public Affairs Manager Bebat

Introduction of new technology never takes ten years

The introduction of new technology - in this case electric driving - takes place very quickly once a certain threshold is reached. Less than ten years after 5% of the population owned a mobile phone, 90% had one. Less than ten years after 5% of households owned a TV, 90% had one. Why would it be different this time around? It’ll be very quick.

Michel Davidts, eMobility manager BeLux bij Eneco Groep

Making leek soup from leek is simple enough, the other way round is a different matter

Mark Pecqueur, Mark Pecqueur, lecturer in car technology and researcher at Thomas More university college

Our panel of experts agrees that a(n) (r)evolution in the mobility industry is on the way. As a result, more e-buses, e-trucks, e-delivery vans, e-motorcycles, electric vehicles and watercraft will be brought onto the market. Incidentally, studies such as The Electric Vehicle Outlook by Bloomberg concur with this forecast.

Now it’s time to determine what is actually needed to realise such a revolution and what role the concept ‘circular economy’ will play in all of this. After all, the transition to electric mobility is inextricably bound with an evolution in renewable energy production/storage and the growing awareness with regard to the principles of the circular economy.

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More responsibility for the manufacturers

The growing awareness of the concept of the circular economy places great responsibility on the manufacturers. From the design stage they have to take into account the extent to which products can be reused or materials can be recycled at the end of their life cycle and this means developing potential alternative sustainable applications.

In other words, we are facing several complex revolutions on both a collective and individual level.

Growing collaboration

Together with the realisation of a circular economy, the co-evolution of innovations will also become increasingly important. Co-evolution is the process in which products and industries constantly adapt to each other.

Often co-evolution leads to partnerships in which products and industries become inextricably linked. The use of EV batteries in home storage solutions is a good case in point.

From a technical standpoint this is very interesting. When the capacity of a battery drops to around 70-80% that battery is still perfectly suited for energy storage. This solution is cheaper than a power wall, for instance. Herein lies a challenge for the manufacturers: come up with a second-life friendly battery design that facilitates dismantling, monitoring and diagnosis.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Joeri Van Mierlo, VUB MOBI

The current business models within the mobility industry will also evolve in the coming years and undergo several changes. This chapter zooms in on potential innovations that may impact the business aspect of the industry.

E-mobility is about more than transport on wheels: there’s a whole services industry behind it.

rof. Dr. Ir. Joeri Van Mierlo VUB-MOBI

Mobility becomes a service


What will be at stake is not ‘who will be the biggest car manufacturer?’ but ‘who will be the biggest mobility provider?’ (...) While mobility as a service will reduce the number of individual cars sold, this will not necessarily affect the overall sales volume. The mileage per car will likely increase due to car sharing, so cars will reach the end of their lives faster.

Stefan Kerckhoven, Managing Director Audi België/Belgique

Focus on experience


Every brand will want to offer the best, coolest and most spectacular experience. Contrary to today, we will be able to work in transit, for instance. Or play with the children, or enjoy some entertainment. That focus shift will have a major impact on car design in general.

Stefan Kerckhoven, Managing Director Audi België/Belgique

Affordable transport thanks to advertising possibilities


Will autonomous and shared transport be affordable? I think much of it will be free. People can simply use this new form of mobility for mass advertising so it will most likely be free.

Mark Pecqueur, docent en onderzoeker aan de Thomas More hogeschool

Lease concept for batteries


As battery capacity rises, battery life and autonomy lengthens. That is why Renault, for instance, is already looking into the possibilities of a battery lease concept. This would shed a new light on the TCA (Total Cost of Ownership) of EV vehicles. In the future, more and more car manufacturers will offer lease and renting systems not just for their batteries but for reused or second-life batteries as well because economically it is the most viable solution.

Philippe Decrock, Legal & Public Affairs Manager Bebat

Revenue model for clean energy


With smart ‘vehicle to grid’ and ‘vehicle to home’ installations we can inject a lot more clean energy into the system. Without the need for building gas plants. Keep in mind that a fully charged car battery retains well over 90% of its energy at the end of the day (after 40 km). This residual charge can be put to good use. If a legal framework is put in place, it should even be possible to develop a revenue model.

New partnerships


Today we’re also seeing a blending of 4 industries which until recently were completely unrelated: energy players, automotive, batteries and data processing (...) As an energy supplier we will try to market our technologies through partnerships. At present we have 13 partners on the automotive market that benefit from our technologies.

Michel Davidts, eMobility manager BeLux bij Eneco Groep

The battery is the power and the Achilles’ heel of the electric car.

Philippe Decrock, Legal & Public Affairs Manager Bebat

The deciding factor in the definitive breakthrough of electric cars is the advent of powerful batteries. First came the nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH) and several years later the lithium-ion battery was introduced.

No need, therefore, to further emphasise the importance of research into this essential link in the chain. But what type of studies are being carried out today? What developments are currently in the pipeline and what can we expect in the near future? Here’s a small selection of important projects.

The battery of the future

Kristina Edström of Uppsala university in Sweden attempts to streamline Europe’s quest for the battery of the future. In the spring of 2019 her initiative Battery 2030+ embarked on a ten-year European research project set to revolutionise the battery world.

It’s a long-term in-depth study. Edström believes this is necessary to achieve genuine breakthroughs in the quest for sustainable batteries based on raw materials found in abundance on our planet. Her initiative was recently awarded a grant from the Horizon 2020 programme.

We will address the challenges that come with the manufacturing of ultra-high performance batteries. To do this we must discover new materials using machine learning and AI and focus specifically on couplings where reactions take place that have a negative impact on battery life. We will design smart functionalities down to the smallest battery level and pay particular attention to sustainability.

Kristina Edström

For a whole decade, the participating researchers, consisting so far of 17 partner institutions from 9 countries, will focus on the battery of the future. A secondary goal consists in providing European industry with up-to-date battery technology.

The ideal e-mobility battery

The largest centre for research into the ideal e-mobility battery in the EU today is Battery LabFactory in Braunschweig. The facility has one hundred staff, of which seventy at a doctorate level.

Supported by the German government, this research centre aims to lower the cost price of the average EV battery through the use of other (raw) materials. Part of its efforts focus on the knowledge and technology to manufacture battery cells with an emphasis on lithium-ion cells (including lithium-sulphur technologies). The research into silicon-based anode material for integration into battery systems is also of great importance.

Battery research in Belgium

Research in Belgium hasn’t been standing still either: various research institutes are targeting specific aspects of battery development.

Batterij Labo

In their Batterij Labo, Energyville (Genk) and VITO benefit from a unique infrastructure to accelerate the development of new battery chemistry and designs. Energyville also developed tools for the analysis and processing of battery data (see ).

Green Propulsion

Founded in 2001 by the University of Liège, Green Propulsion has been building expertise in the areas of hybrid and electric applications for, amongst others, passenger cars, taxis, buses and other forms of public transport such as trams (a.o. dual catenary/battery trolleys).

Battery Innovation Center

VUB University has been conducting research into electromobility ever since the 1970s. Nowadays this research is coordinated through VUB-MOBI, where battery technology is central in the so-called Battery Innovation Center (BIC) of this research group.

The Center recently started construction of an ultramodern dry room for the development of new battery technologies. This should make it possible to significantly boost the capacity of EV batteries. VUB hopes to increase the range of electric vehicles to 800 kilometres.

This dry room is absolutely indispensable to the development of next-generation batteries from innovative materials. Incidentally, VUB also played a key role in the establishment and international expansion of AVERE – the European Association for Electromobility.

Green Energy Park

In July 2019, VUB & UZ Brussel hospital inaugurated the so-called Green Energy Park research hub in Zellik. Amongst others, the Park invests heavily in an expertise centre for sustainable and intelligent energy systems and mobility solutions.

The Green Energy Park is a CO2-neutral, realistic living lab equipped with a large-scale electric grid, an ultra-low temperature heat grid and extensive electric mobility possibilities. A green data centre will provide the park with the necessary computing power to develop sustainable, high-tech solutions.

Anyone part of this ‘CO2-neutral Smart Multi Energy Grid’ can supply and consume energy. The main energy supply comes from the residual heat of the data centre, as well as from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. This energy is stored in batteries, electric cars, heat buffers and BTES systems (borehole thermal energy storage system or a closed-loop system of tubes in which water is cooled or heated in the underground itself).

Demand for car batteries and the required raw materials (a.o. cobalt and lithium) is up and will continue to rise due to the development of the EV market. As a result, reuse, second life and recycling batteries are becoming extremely important.

At the end of their life, the properties of EV batteries call for a different approach than the one used for traditional batteries. In concrete terms this means that the current recycling methods - and their financing - must be re-evaluated if we are to be ready to process the tonnes of EV batteries that will reach the end of their useful lives in a few years’ time.

A striking fact about EV batteries is their long life before they are ready to be recycled. This means many EV batteries are already in use but they haven’t yet reached the end of their life. In the long term investments will be necessary to recycle all of them.

Dr. Ir. Alain Vassart, Secretary General of EBRA

Growing numbers of EV batteries

Whilst a 2019 study by Element Energy Consulting from Cambridge, Batteries on wheels: the role of battery electric cars in the EU power system and beyond, claims that by 2025 electric or low-emission vehicles will account for approximately 10% of overall European car sales, this percentage is expected to climb to 25% by 2030.

In the early 2020s battery electric vehicles (BEVs) should become the dominant powertrain technology within ZLEVs. This means that by 2030, 85% of the vehicle stock will still be powered by internal combustion (ICE) engines but by 2050 the tables should have turned with 20% ICE cars and 80% electric.

Due to the steady uptake with an acceleration in 2025 most of the 17.5 million battery electric cars on Europe’s roads will be relatively young at that stage. However, some 125,000 older electric vehicles will be retired and their batteries will be recovered. Around 15% of these batteries will be too deteriorated for second life applications and will be sent to recycling, generating almost 2,800 tonnes of valuable metals.

New recycling methods

This means the European recycling capacity will need to be scaled up considerably. According to the Battery on Wheels study, by 2025 retired electric cars alone will exceed the recycling capacity currently available in the EU. The recycling demand is expected to grow to nearly 100,000 tonnes of batteries by 2040.

Moreover, a lack of capacity is not the only problem calling for intelligent solutions... Several other elements also require us to rethink the existing recycling process if we are to optimise the value chain from a financial point of view. Dr. Ir. Alain Vassart, Secretary General at EBRA (European Battery Recycling Association), highlights a few important elements that should make this possible.

Guaranteeing safe transportation

Battery transportation is subject to detailed regulations issued by the ADR (A*ccord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises *Dangereuses par Route), the French name for the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road. This guarantees safe transportation but the requirements of this treaty will continue to evolve in the future.

Smart use of new materials

As battery manufacturers are working towards new batteries with less critical materials (in particular cobalt, which is difficult and expensive to mine), recycling companies will need to develop a new approach to the recovery of materials in order to finance their activities.

It is clear that Europe is in a weak position when it comes to basic raw materials and their reuse. We also have some catching up to do in terms of cell components and cell production. Europe has strong knowledge and can rely on a strong operational instrument with regard to the manufacturing of battery packs and the recycling of end-of-life EV batteries.

Research in this area is in full swing (higher recycling efficiency, more end materials can be extracted and reused, smaller environmental impact, ...) Higher recycling standards and the economies of scale that come with a larger volume of EV batteries may help to bring down the recycling fee.

Optimising the dismantling process

With their weight of 200 to 300 kg many EV batteries are too large to be recycled in one go. In fact, EV batteries should always be dismantled to prepare them for recycling.

Moreover, these are often packs consisting of multiple elements that sometimes require a different treatment in order to allow optimum recycling and/or reuse.

In addition, dismantling is still a manual process right now because every car uses a different battery model and type. To reduce the costs we must evolve towards a more automated system including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise the entire process. According to Alain Vassart it is also important to gear the recycling process to the battery type and content.

An ideal scenario for the processing of an end-of-life EV battery might look as follows. For every step in the process you can call on the services of Bebat:

Adapting the legislation

The existing legislation is no longer adapted to end-of-life EV batteries. Within the current battery directive (2006/66/EC) the battery manufacturer or car manufacturer bears the total cost for the collection and recycling of batteries. However, in the case of EV batteries these costs are not as unequivocal as with traditional batteries. This means that in addition to battery production, the legislation on batteries will have to change fundamentally. We talked to Peter Binnemans, Secretary General of Eucobat, the non-profit association that groups the leading battery collecting and processing companies in Europe (including Bebat).

In his opinion, we must distinguish first of all between ‘reuse’ and ‘second use’ of an EV battery.

Reuse means that the battery is partly or entirely reused for its original purpose. Second use is the term indicating that batteries are used for a purpose other than the one for which they were originally designed. Examples include the use of batteries from electric vehicles in energy storage systems.

Peter Binnemans, Secretary General Eucobat

However, the current Batteries Directive does not regulate the reuse and second use of waste batteries from electrified vehicles and this raises questions - specifically with regard to second use. Peter Coonen explains:

In the case of second use of batteries from electrified vehicles, the liability for defective products must be clearly defined. In this framework and given the new application of the product, which may imply technical adaptations, the person putting the batteries on the market for the second use should be regarded as the producer of the batteries and should therefore put their name, trademark or another distinguishing feature on the battery.

Peter Coonen, Managing Director Bebat

An important aspect in this regard is the fact that due to the specific nature of EV batteries and their second use, the existing financial liability principle will have to be revised.

The international organization Eucobat takes a clear stance in this discussion and states that the legislative framework must offer transparency with regard to the following aspects:

  • When exactly does the extended producer responsibility (EPR) of the original producer end for collection and processing?
  • Who bears the extended producer responsibility for the modules, stacks and cells that are removed during the repurposing process but not reused?
  • Who bears the extended producer responsibility for batteries put on the market for second use and how will the marking of the batteries and the registration of the producer be regulated?
  • How will the financial guarantees for the first and second producer be regulated?

European support

The European Commission recently set new targets for the CO2 emissions from passenger cars and strives to sharpen the emission performance standards for new cars and vans by 15% as of 2025 and by 30% as of 2030.

In other words, meeting these ambitious European targets will require a considerable uptake of electric car sales. Predictions are that electric car sales will indeed pick up around this period.

An uptake in electric car sales also implies a strong increase in the number of batteries circulating on the market so it is fair to conclude that demand for batteries in the EU will grow steadily.

It’s all about the batteries

Batteries make up a third of the cost of an electric vehicle. As battery costs continue to fall , demand for EVs will rise.

Dominant players currently situated in Asia

With close to 60% of the global market, China is the world leader in the production of lithium-ion cells. Japan ranks second with 17% and Korea is third with 15%. At the moment the EU accounts for a mere 1% but according to the French technology consulting firm Avicenne Energy this market share is set to grow to 10-15% by 2025.

Bloomberg predicts that China will continue to lead the market in the coming years with Europe developing into the second biggest region or market. The indicators for fast growth in Europe are present: cell production capacity is predicted to exceed 1 tWh by 2025. In addition, expectations are that batteries will become cheaper. The current price is €154.50/kWh and by 2030 it is expected to fall to a mere €55.83/kWh.

State of affairs in Europe

The Ricardo Energy & Environment-studie study visualised the strengths and weaknesses of the battery value chain in Europe. The illustration on the next page illustrates which activities in tomorrow’s battery value chain require further action.

SWOT analysis for the value chain of EV batteries in the EU
SWOT analysis for the value chain of EV batteries in the EU

Strategic action plan for batteries in Europe

The EU Commission recently launched a Strategic Action Plan for batteries. The plan puts forward a number of goals:

  • Taking the lead in a key future industry.
  • Supporting jobs and growth in a circular economy.
  • Creating cleaner and sustainable mobility and a better environment for the citizens of the EU.

Founded by the EU Commission in 2019, Batteries Europe is the research and innovation platform of the European Battery Alliance (EBA). The platform is tasked with the coordination of battery research on an EU level. In December 2019 the platform approved its first IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest) with regard to batteries. Seven EU countries were awarded €3.2 billion in public funding for battery research, viz. Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Belgium. Europe expects the project to generate another €5 billion in private investments.

The vision and role of Bebat & Sortbat

The Commission aims to launch a cross-border and integrated European approach that applies to the entire value chain of the battery ecosystem and that focuses on sustainability, starting with the extraction and processing of raw materials, the design and production phase of battery cells and battery packs, and their use, second use and recycling in a circular economy.

The European Commission considers the development and production of batteries to be of great importance to Europe within the scope of the transition to sustainable renewable energy. It is viewed as a key aspect of the competitiveness of the automotive and energy industry and that is why the Commission has incorporated it into the strategy of the new industry policy aimed at making the EU the world leader in terms of innovation, digitalisation and CO2 reduction.

Europe has the potential to lead the international market with regard to the safe, environmentally conscious processing of waste batteries. The markets for important batteries are booming e.g. the market for the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. It follows that at a certain point we will have to process large volumes of waste batteries, both in Europe and the rest of the world. Those waste streams must be managed properly in order to recover as many valuable materials as possible. The Commission has examined the possibilities of developing a circular economy for these batteries in Europe. Click here for the full report of the Commission

Another cornerstone of the European energy and climate policy is the Strategic Emercency Technology Plan (SET-PLAN). Horizon 2020 projects published the priorities on the subject of batteries as long ago as November 2017. Batteries Europe ensures the necessary follow-up.

We expect the weight in propulsion batteries sold in 2019 to exceed the combined weight of all computer batteries, batteries from remote controls, etc. Since this is an entirely new situation we, too, are facing sweeping changes. We are working hard to prepare for this new battery landscape.

Peter Coonen, Managing Director Bebat

The advent of electromobility will see an increase in the use of both large and small batteries. Electromobility is good for the environment and we welcome this evolution. However, at some point all batteries must be recycled or perhaps reused and this is where Bebat and its vision come in: collect as many batteries as possible, recycle and re-use them with maximum efficiency and handle them safely.

Bebat not only has experience with small batteries: in recent years it has also collected, sorted and recycled over 10,000 EV batteries. We aim to use and share this experience in an optimum manner. After all, here at Bebat we work towards a better environment every single day. Moreover, we want to contribute to the electromobility revolution by taking optimum care of all batteries at the end of their first life.

New battery value chain

To handle end-of-life batteries more intelligently within the circular economy it is crucial to reassess the value chain.

The classic vision identified 6 steps in the so-called waste hierarchy, viz.

The 6 steps in the classic vision of waste management

From our focus on the circular economy, however, at Bebat we look more at the scheme set up by PBL, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. This is the national institute for strategic policy analysis in the field of the environment, nature and space. PBL is an organizational part of the central government, namely the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Works. This special positioning makes safeguarding its independence essential for the PBL.

For them there are 9 circular strategies in the production chain. In order of importance they are:

The global new battery value chain for the coming years will be slightly longer, with more intermediate steps. Due to this new value chain the activities of dismantling, battery diagnostics, preparation for reuse and second-life applications have been added.

Here at Bebat we feel that, within the scope of the circular economy, recycling is only the third option for handling end-of-life EV batteries. First we determine if the battery can be repaired or prepared for a second life as an EV battery (reuse) or whether it can be used as an energy storage device (repurposing).

The diagram below provides a clear overview and the green links indicate where Bebat/Sortbat comes in.

Collection and transportation

The collection and transportation of EV batteries must be carried out with care. The collector must know what type of batteries are being collected. The party discarding the battery is usually aware of the battery composition: nickel-metal hydride or lithium-ion for EVs. The latter type resides under the European regulations of the ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road). The transport of hazardous substances is subject to specific ADR regulations, including the method, the packaging and the routes that can be used.


Bebat’s ADR experts will be happy to handle this delicate job for you.


1. Diagnostics & dismantling

Diagnostics or assessment are crucial in deciding the possible next steps. In this stage the condition of the battery and the cells is assessed so it can be determined whether they are suitable for remanufacturing, reuse, repurposing (in second-life applications) or the recycling of raw materials.

Once the choice has been made whether the battery will be processed for reuse, repurposing or recycling, the next stage is dismantling. Due to the safety risks involved, dismantling e-mobility batteries must be done in a controlled environment.

2. Reuse

With reuse, batteries are processed in such a way that they can once again be used for traction, i.e. as an EV battery.

3. Second life

With repurposing, batteries are processed to be used for a new application e.g. as part of an energy storage system. In that context we often talk about second-life applications.


Only if the battery can no longer be repaired or prepared for a second life as an EV battery (reuse) or as an energy storage device (repurposing), will the battery be recycled, a process through which raw materials such as cobalt and lithium are recovered.

Other materials can also be recovered from a recycled EV battery that has truly reached the end of its useful life. This illustration gives a good example of the various materials that can be found in an EV battery.

Generic composition of EV battery system
General composition of the EV battery system

What does the future have in store?

Bebat also looks for new and different options for the collection and - specifically - the transportation of batteries. Very inspiring in this regard is the approach of our Dutch counterpart Stibat (see case study). We continue to closely monitor both this and other initiatives to deepen our knowledge and remain at the forefront of the EV battery collecting and processing industry.


Battery collection with electric vehicles yields considerable CO2 savings

From now on, in the region of Haarlem, Amsterdam and the upper part of South Holland, empty batteries are collected using a 100% electric method. Instead of using a diesel truck, a zero-emissions vehicle (fully electric vehicle) collects the batteries from some 4,000 shop owners, schools and companies so they can be processed into full-fledged raw materials.

The electric collection yields considerable CO2 savings. This new and cleaner collection method saves more than 27 tonnes of CO2 per year. Following collection the batteries are processed into valuable raw materials so the environment benefits twice.

European solution with Reneos

Together with our foreign counterparts we want to offer solutions for the recycling and reuse of EV batteries across Europe. That is why Bebat was one of the founders of Reneos, a European solution for end-of-life EV batteries.

Reneos is a European network of market leaders from different countries who collect batteries. Working together allows us to pool our knowledge and expertise in the areas of battery technology, environmental and statutory regulations and ADR transport. This way we can collect end-of-life batteries across borders and in different countries, transport them safely and stock them prior to dismantling, reuse, second life or recycling.

Philippe Celis, CEO Reneos

That is why Bebat was one of the founders of Reneos, a European solution for end-of-life EV batteries. The aim is to make collection, dismantling, recycling & second life as simple as possible for our customers.

We are pleased to contribute to the promotion of a cross-border and integrated European approach that covers the entire value chain of the battery ecosystem and that focuses on sustainability in the design and production phase of batteries, as well as their use, reuse and recycling.

Philippe Decrock, Legal & Public Affairs Manager bij Bebat

This implies cross-border thinking in collaboration with our foreign partners to avoid as much red tape as possible or take it off our customers’ hands.

Originally launched as a software platform, Reneos represents a European system for the efficient collection of EV batteries, including track & trace. This system is supported by our European network. The customer decides what happens. Recycling, reuse or just the collection and delivery to a location determined by the customer. All these organisations can collect batteries in European countries, stock them locally, dismantle them and subsequently have them processed. We have our own partners for this or we can work with the customer’s preferred partner(s). The customer can keep a close eye on things thanks to the track & trace system. We can unburden the customer from A to Z. No more worries about declarations and administrative formalities, safety risks regarding dismantling and storage, the diagnostics of EV batteries for further processing, right down to the reporting of recycling efficiency.

Philippe Celis, CEO Reneos

Dr. Ir. Alain Vassart

Secretary General EBRA ivzw/aisbl (European Battery Recycling Association)

Renowned battery expert with 20+ years of experience in the recycling of hazardous non-ferrous waste and an in-depth knowledge of the applicable European legislation. He was actively involved in setting up the first Belgian recycling chain for portable batteries even before the European directives were issued. At EBRA he was an active member and chairman for 8 years; he was appointed as secretary general since 2010. He is also a member of the executive committee of the International Congress for Battery Recycling.

Annick Roetynck

Founder & Manager LEVA-EU

Holds a Masters in Political Sciences. An expert in light electric vehicles (LEVs) who has been active in the sector since 1987. In 1995 Annick was one of the founders of the European Twowheel Retailers’ Association (ETRA), which she headed until 2013. In 2014 she was appointed Light Electric Vehicle manager at AVERE, the European Association for Electromobility. In 2017 she founded LEVA-EU, a non-profit trade association for companies in the sector of light electric vehicles, an organisation that she now leads.

Erik Swerts

Erik Swerts, Managing Director Alphabet Belgium & Luxembourg

For 30 years his career has seen him take up different functions, both in this leasing company and others. His experience has made him a household name in the leasing landscape. Alphabet is an innovator in the business mobility and e-mobility sector.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Joeri Van Mierlo

Lecturer at the VUB (Free University Brussels)

Pioneered the research into electromobility as early as the 1970s. He is the chairman of the MOBI (research centre for mobility, logistics and automotive technology) and is an expert in the field of electric and hybrid vehicles. He is also extremely knowledgeable in battery technology.

Mark Pecqueur

Lecturer and researcher at Thomas More University College

A lecturer and researcher at Thomas More’s De Nayer campus in Sint-Katelijne-Waver since 2013. He makes it a point of honour to prepare his automotive students for the changes of the future. In the business world Mark is a sought-after speaker thanks to his scientific background and his extensive knowledge of all things automotive, mobility, energy and hydrogen technology. His followers on social media know he has a very outspoken vision of the future but also that he likes to share knowledge.

Michel Davidts

Mobility Manager at Eneco for Belgium and Luxembourg

Sustainable energy specialist. Following the 2009 launch of Solar for Eneco he studied and developed innovative cases for biomass, wind energy, heat distribution, etc. For the last several years he has been focusing primarily on electromobility. He is an expert in charging stations, interchangeability, data management and complete unburdening. He has introduced innovative services and platforms, for instance for the use of batteries in order to optimise network systems.

Peter Binnemans

Secretaris-Generaal Eucobat, the European association of national collection schemes for batteries

Expert in the field of collection and recycling of waste batteries. Member of the Board of Directors of Bebat, Belgium, since 1997. Secretary General of Eucobat, the European association of national collection schemes for batteries since 2012. Has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Recupel since 2001 for the collection and processing of electrical appliances.

Pieter van Bastelaere

CEO TRAXIO Vlaanderen

The mobility federation for sellers and repairers of new and second-hand cars, motorcycles, bicycles, bodywork, tyres, fuel, etc. Board member at MORA, the Mobility Council of Flanders. This council advises the Flemish government and the Flemish parliament in matters of mobility. Manager at Unizo (Board of Directors and Management Committee), Voka (Management Committee) and the VBO (Association of Belgian Companies - Board of Directors).

Philippe Jacquemeyns

Product Manager Volvo Trucks Belux

This commercial engineer started his career in 1991 at Volvo Trucks Belux and to date has fulfilled several functions there in different departments. In charge of the division Product, Homologation & Sales Engineering Belux since 2005. His team provides technical support for the Belux sales force. In 2011 he also became the coordinator for Alternative Fuels. He is the chairman of the Technical Committee at Febiac and is in frequent contact with the trade press and the regional and federal governments.

Stefan Kerckhoven

Managing Director Audi België/Belgique

Took the Audi wheel at the start of September 2017 after building a varied track record since joining d’Ieteren Auto in 1999. He has worked in sales, pricing, product planning, field operations and network development, initially for Volkswagen and later for Audi. In 2015 he was appointed director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and subsequently Managing Director at Audi d’Ieteren.

Peter Coonen

Managing Director Bebat en Sortbat

Before starting at Bebat, Peter worked as CEO Panasonic Batteries Europe. In 2009 Peter became Managing Director for Bebat, which he helped set up in 1995. In 2010 Bebat founded Sortbat, a high-tech battery sorting facility. Since april 2017 Peter is also president of Eucobat, the European association of national collection schemes for batteries.

Philippe Decrock

Legal & Public Affairs Manager Bebat

As a former director of the study department of mobility federation Traxio, a lecturer in mobility management at UCLL Louvain and a contributor to various electric mobility projects in Flanders, Philippe is now Legal & Public Affairs Manager at Bebat. The development and implementation of (shared) e-mobility in the European Union and the (technical) regulations on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is a key focal point for Philippe, as are the end-of-life issues of HEV batteries (reuse, second life, safety and recycling).

Philippe Celis

CEO Reneos

Bebat hired Philippe in 2017 as an e-mobility consultant. He offers custom-tailored solutions for the collection, recycling, reuse and/or dismantling of traction batteries in Belgium, but also on a European level through Reneos. Reneos is the European platform of top national battery collectors who use software allowing full traceability of their collected end-of-life traction batteries.

Contact gegevens van Bebat