UAE explores plans to develop its first EV battery recycling plant

The UAE is considering plans to develop its first recycling plant for spent electric vehicle batteries amid a wider push to support green mobility, hit its net-zero emissions goal by 2050 and create a circular economy.

Sharjah-based environmental management company Beeah Group signed an agreement with the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the American University of Sharjah to explore collaboration on establishing the plant, Beeah said on Thursday.

The project is intended to ensure “future readiness” and prepare for the electric vehicle market, said Sharif Al Olama, the ministry’s Undersecretary of Energy and Petroleum Affairs.

“Leveraging the intelligence from Beeah Recycling and the latest research from AUS, we look forward to identifying the right solution to support green mobility in our sustainable cities and communities,” Mr Al Olama said.

“Our exploration will also be aligned with the national and global sustainability agenda, which prioritises achieving net-zero emissions, diverting waste from landfill and creating a circular economy.”

As a market, the UAE is among the world’s top 10 countries that is geared towards electric mobility, according to a September report from consultancy Arthur D Little.

The country’s EV market, which is currently in its early stages, is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30 per cent between 2022 and 2028, the Global Electric Mobility Readiness Index 2022, compiled by the consultancy, showed.

While there is a government-backed effort to build EV infrastructure, high prices have deterred drivers from switching to electric cars.

But the entry of new players in the industry and a recent sharp rise in fuel prices have made EVs more appealing.

The agreement to set up the recycling plant EV batteries comes at a time when the UAE has already committed $163 billion to reach net zero by 2050.

The plant will not only support the sustainable growth of the EV industry but also help to build emissions-free transport networks, said Beeah Recycling chief executive Daker El-Rabaya.

AUS will carry out the research and provide the required expertise.

The project will help to make EVs cheaper and sustainable in the long run while protecting the environment “from toxicities” and supplying the necessary raw materials, AUS provost Prof Juan Sanchez said.

The pact was signed during the 2023 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

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