In the battery recycling space, Li-Cycle is a great example.
The Canadian business aims to maximise the reuse of valuable metals including lithium and cobalt from used lithium batteries, recycling them back into new battery production.
The IRA has provided loans to help it build a new facility that will support it as it expands globally, with recent deals including exclusive recycling for a Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer and recycled cobalt for commodity multinational Glencore.
It’s an excellent example of a company that needs government support in the nascent stages of growth, given the extensive cost of advanced recycling programmes to compete without subsidy when the alternative for battery manufacturers is simply to source new materials from scratch.
The direction of travel is one-way – recycling these materials is bound to become increasingly important as EVs gain market share. Moreover, the alternative is likely to involve mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where working conditions are far from ideal, and the environment is degraded. Clearly, then, there are multiple advantages to Li-Cycle’s operations if they can be made economically viable.