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Startup bags €8.5m to bolster Europe’s EV battery upcycling

European startup Circu Li-ion has secured substantial funding of €8.5 million (about $9 million) to rethink electric vehicle (EV) battery upcycling. 
European startup Circu Li-ion has secured substantial funding of €8.5 million (about $9 million) to rethink electric vehicle (EV) battery upcycling. 
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European startup Circu Li-ion has secured substantial funding of €8.5 million (about $9 million) to rethink electric vehicle (EV) battery upcycling. 

The industry anticipates a surge of 130 million EVs on European roads by 2035. Circu Li-ion intends to combat the resulting 130 million defunct batteries that, if left unattended, could accumulate into an ecological disaster.

Meet Circu Li-ion

Circu Li-ion was founded in 2021 and is headquartered in Luxembourg and Germany. It pioneered an automated upcycling solution to facilitate the eco-friendly recycling of lithium-ion cells, ensuring their reuse at scale. 

The startup creates hardware and software in-house and offers a machine-as-a-service product. Its approach incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize various stages of battery processing, from discharging and dismantling to disassembly and health diagnostics. 

By minimizing manual labor and reducing environmental impact, Circu Li-ion claims its upcycling solution can slash up to 48% of CO2 emissions compared to conventional recycling methods.


ALSO READ: Generative AI used in battery development


With a robust network of partnerships spanning original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), micromobility service providers, power tool manufacturers, and European recycling companies, Circu Li-ion is plans to upcycle three billion batteries by 2035.

A green partnership

This recent funding empowers Circu Li-ion to expand its machine-as-a-service solution across more European markets. 

Additionally, it aims to provide sisassembly-as-a-service, allowing customers to upcycle their batteries at the startup’s facility in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

Leveraging AI, the company will enhance battery sorting techniques and explore avenues for direct recycling innovation. It’ll use AI and data to establish the world’s largest battery recycling data repository, enabling data-driven decision-making and supporting a fully circular battery supply chain.

Battery charging on

Xavier Kohll, co-founder and CTO at Circu Li-ion emphasizes the importance of pioneering flexible solutions that open new avenues for cleaner battery recycling. 

“We are evolving our products with the agility and adaptability the swift-moving battery market demands. It’s more than creating relevancy — it’s about pioneering flexible solutions that carve out new possibilities for cleaner battery recycling,” says Kohll.

This funding round, comprising €4.5 million in equity investments led by social venture capital BonVenture. This includes €4 million in grants from the European Innovation Council Accelerator (EICA) and a consortium of recyclers and OEMs. 

This endeavor coincides with the European Union’s new battery regulation, mandating minimum levels of recycled elements for EV batteries, ensuring a circular economy, and reducing dependence on external sources for critical raw materials.

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About the author

Marce has contributed tech to various prominent publications since 2018, offering a transparent perspective into the tech industry and its effects on its users. She now spends her time developing insightful content for industry players. You know, when she's not gaming or geeking out about the latest fad.

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