Battery Resourcers, a lithium-ion battery recycling and manufacturing company, announced an agreement with American Honda Motor to recycle Honda & Acura electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Millions of EVs are expected to reach US roads in coming years and new regulations mandate recycling of spent batteries and the use of recycled metals in new batteries.

The two companies will work together to improve recyclability and to reintegrate recycled material back into the automaker’s material supply chain.

Battery Resourcers CEO Mike O’Kronley said in a statement: “Our innovative, closed-loop recycling process addresses environmental and regulatory issues while unlocking the hidden value in spent lithium-ion batteries. As a result, we can provide safe, convenient and environmentally responsible recycling solutions at an affordable cost.”

Founded in 2015 as a spinout from the lab of Yan Wang at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Battery Resourcers recently completed a US$20m Series B equity round with financing led by Orbia Ventures, the venture capital arm of the multinational Orbia, and other investors including At One Ventures, TDK Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures and Jaguar Land Rover’s In-Motion Ventures.

It claims to offer a “fundamentally new” approach to lithium-ion battery manufacturing, starting with a mixed stream of used lithium-ion batteries and ending with the production of finished, battery-ready cathode active materials. With 97% metal recovery, it currently produces nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) based cathode active materials.

Honda’s batteries will initially be processed by the company’s recently expanded site in Worcester, Massachusetts and, later, at a new commercial scale plant that will be operational in spring 2022. The new site will be capable of processing 20m pounds of batteries.

The company is also engineering a novel process for graphite recovery and purification, which will enable it to return both the cathode and anode active materials back to manufacturers of new batteries.