How Cling Systems is Transforming Battery Supply Chains with William Bergh

How Cling Systems is Transforming Battery Supply Chains with William Bergh

Show Notes

In 2023, more than 1.3 million EVs were sold - a staggering 40% increase from the previous year. So as more of us switch to electric cars and solar panels, we're facing a new challenge: what to do with all the used batteries? And how do we recycle them? The issue of battery disposal and recycling is becoming increasingly critical as unlike metal or plastic recycling, moving batteries isn't as simple as tossing them into the blue recycling bin. Each type needs special care and handling, testing, and transport.

On the latest episode of Things Have Changed, we speak to William Bergh, Founder of Cling Systems, a company streamlining the process of battery recycling to ensure used batteries are efficiently reclaimed and repurposed. This approach not only reduces landfill waste but also conserves valuable raw materials, contributing to a more sustainable, a more circular energy future.

Challenges and Innovations in Battery Recycling

Despite its potential, battery recycling faces significant challenges. One major challenge is the lack of standardization in battery design. For eg. a Tesla car battery would be completely different in composition or even form factor to an Audi or Kia car battery. These stark differences between batteries from different manufacturers complicates the recycling process as unlike lead-acid batteries, which are standardized and widely recycled, lithium-ion batteries vary greatly in their composition and design. This variability makes it difficult to develop efficient recycling processes that can handle the diverse range of batteries in use today.

Additionally, the supply of end-of-life batteries is highly fragmented. Batteries reach the end of their life in various locations, often ending up in drawers or being exported to different countries. This further complicates the logistics of collecting and recycling batteries.

Data Management: The Backbone of Battery Logistics

Cling Systems addresses this challenge by creating a comprehensive database of battery types and conditions, a form of "battery passport", that enables more efficient tracking and management of used batteries. By collecting and organizing all the important battery information in one place, Cling makes it easy for companies and suppliers to make informed decisions about battery recycling and repurposing. This passport will contain information about the battery's technical aspects, ownership history, and test results, ensuring transparency and traceability throughout its lifecycle.

Additionally, since this is data needs to be safe and compliant, Compliance data involves ensuring that all necessary documentation for safe transportation and recycling is in place.

Building Trust and Partnerships in Battery Logistics

The battery recycling industry requires a wide network of partners and stakeholders - ranging from traders, testers to customer service professionals and logistics companies to facilitate successful trades. As a result, trust is crucial. By resolving challenges promptly and maintaining strong relationships & transparency with partners, Cling Systems ensures that batteries are properly handled and recycled.

The Future of Battery Recycling

The success of battery recycling depends on continued innovation and collaboration to scale up recycling processes, standardize battery designs, and develop more efficient logistics systems. Ideally, the planet relies less on traditional mining for battery materials, and more on urban mining and recycling to extract further value from so called "spent batteries". By making it easier and cheaper to reuse batteries, companies like Cling Systems are helping build a cleaner, healthier future for all of us.


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