eMobility Festival, a new life for batteries


The Italian e_mob event scheduled to take place in Milan between September 26 and 28 begun with a preview of sorts.

The first event prior to the start of the eMobility Festival took place on September 16 at Palazzo Lombardia.

"La sfida italiana alla creazione di una filiera nazionale per il riutilizzo delle batterie di trazione delle auto elettriche" (The Italian Challenge to Create a National Supply Chain for Reusing E-Car Batteries) was the title of the conference sponsored by Cobat, the National Consortium for Waste Collection and Recycling. It was dedicated to one of the issues pivotal to eMobility: correct end-of-life management of lithium ion batteries and various reuse and recycling possibilities. Some of the leading Italian stakeholders in the sector took part in the round table with the aim of developing new partnerships that would, in turn, help achieve ambitious environmental and leadership targets on a European level.  Representatives from Cobat, Class Onlus, Enel, RSE (Energy System Research), Politecnico di Milano, FCA, the Ministry of the Environment and the Fire Service discussed the situation, presenting possible recycling/reuse models and the very latest research results.

Luigi Mazzocchi, a manager at RSE, told the panel that developing good practices for the “second life” of lithium ion batteries is a challenge for all EU states. There is huge focus on the issue in Brussels because of the growth in energy storage demand being forecast for the coming years and linked to the increased penetration of renewables.

The “second life battery” is also a subject dear to Enel. Indeed, for the last four years, we have been adopting a strategy centred very strongly around circular economy principles. In his address, our head of Circular Economy Luca Meini explained why the spread of e-mobility must go hand-in-hand with boosting battery recycling and reuse. The circular economy is not made up of a series of sporadic, standalone interventions but instead embraces the entire value chain,” Meini went on to say. “Here at Enel we feel it is vital to have an integrated vision of the whole cycle and so creating a supply chain that will enable us to collaborate with other stakeholders.”

Already this year, in actual fact, the Group launched a pioneering project in the Spanish town of Melilla, where more than 90 end-of-life car batteries were reassembled to create a large storage plant that was integrated with the national grid.  This is just one practical example of how a virtuous circle can be created that will see e-car components transformed into new energy storage solutions. “We have to work together to exploit Italy’s very significant skills and allow our country to become a European leader,” concluded Luigi de Rocchi, Head of Cobat’s Research and Development Division.

Because e-mobility is about that too. A used battery doesn’t just die, but can be used to create new opportunities in terms of both economic efficiency and environmental well-being.