The Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress (TMWC) is an annual event that brings various mobility stakeholders together from around the world to share and discuss issues related to sustainable and intelligent urban mobility in the beautiful city of Barcelona.

This year’s TMWC, which took place on 7-9 November 2023, was structured around eight themes: Data Space; Inclusivity, Affordability & Fairness; Connected, Cooperative & Automated Mobility; Sustainable Urban Logistics; Multimodality; Urban Air Mobility; Energy Transition; and Active Mobility. One of the key topics discussed was how to address the design, life cycle and critical raw materials challenges in the big push for transportation electrification.

Powering the Electric Mobility Transition – Thematic Roundtable

With the world transitioning to greener alternatives to move people and goods, lithium-ion electric vehicle (EV) batteries have provided an efficient and zero-emission alternative to powering transport. However, with a predicted 170,000 tonnes of Europe’s EV batteries reaching their end-of-first-life by 2030, there is an urgent need to find effective and efficient ways to recycle and repurpose them.

Martyna Zielińska (second from left) speaks about BatteReverse in a thematic roundtable session at the Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress 2023

BatteReverse’s Martyna Zielińska, from Łukasiewicz -Poznański Instytut Technologiczny, was invited to participate in the roundtable discussion of a session called Powering the Electric Mobility Transition. Moderated by Carlo van de Weijer (Eindhoven AI Systems Institute, University of Eindhoven), the panel also included Rocio Paniagua Oliver (Electronics Watch), Jennifer Dungs (EIT InnoEnergy), Maria Dolores Ortiz (Ayuntamiento de Madrid)and Harald Proff (Deloitte). In the discussions, Zielinska highlighted that BatteReverse is tackling battery circularity challenges head-on by improving the safety and efficiency of the four main steps in battery reverse logistics(RL): (1) discharge and first diagnosis for a wide range of Li-ion battery types, (2) safety packaging related to the transportation of batteries to minimise thermal runaway risks, (3) dismantling and sorting using human-robot collaboration, and (4) faster and more precise evaluation of batteries for recycling and repurposing.

While Zielińska remained positive about the impact that research and innovation projects like BatteReverse would have on electric mobility, she warned that there is an urgent need for all battery stakeholders to collaborate and jointly tackle RL issues. ‘There is a lack of standardisation and cooperation between particular stakeholders in the battery value chain, so we need to work on a unified approach that will help upgrade the efficiency of the logistics processes and lower the costs thanks to implementing the circular business models,’ she said.

Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress Digital Programme

Since the reverse logistics processes in the battery industry are not yet clearly defined, understanding and mapping out the whole battery RL process is quite a huge task. BatteReverse plans to visit several recycling and repurposing facilities in addition to interviewing many battery value chain stakeholders to learn more about how they deal with end-of-first-life batteries. BatteReverse partners at Łukasiewicz - Poznański Instytut Technologiczny are working on improving business and logistics processes so that by the end of the project, they will have a good idea of how to optimise the systems and processes of EV batteries – from their initial assessment and discharge at authorised car workshops to their journey to recyclers and repurposers.

Witold Statkiewicz (left) speaks about BatteReverse in an interview for the digital programme of the Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress 2023

BatteReverse’s Witold Statkiewicz, from Łukasiewicz -Poznański Instytut Technologiczny, was invited to an interview with EIT Urban Mobility’s Jezabel Martínez Fábregas and Lluis Puerto as part of the TMWC digital programme.  The session was live-streamedon the TMWC website and could be viewed by audiences around the world.

In the interview, Statkiewicz shared how BatteReverse is empowering the circular economy by developing a streamlined process for second-life applications of EV batteries. He also highlighted that one of the main roles of Łukasiewicz - Poznański Instytut Technologiczny within the BatteReverse project is to analyse the circular business models in the battery value chain and to develop a digital twin of the TO-BE logistics model to simulate the target RL process.