The Canadian company at the forefront of the burgeoning lithium-ion battery-recycling industry is facing one of its biggest tests – and has a chance to assert its dominance over an increasingly crowded field of competitors.
Li-Cycle Corp. LICY-N, co-founded by Ajay Kochhar (ChemE 1T3) which is headquartered in Toronto and launched operations in Kingston, has rapidly expanded in the past couple of years, opening large facilities across the United States, building similar ones in Germany and Norway, and striking a partnership with commodities giant Glencore PLC GLNCY. It’s cited by industry analysts as one of two or three companies outside Asia (where the sector is more developed) best positioned to capture value from the predicted flood of used electric-vehicle batteries in the decades ahead.
The momentum is a source of national pride, evidenced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on a tour of the Kingston site during her Canadian visit this year. Amid widespread concerns about the reliability and sustainability of battery supply chains, Li-Cycle could significantly help reduce the sector’s reliance on mining by recovering minerals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt from used batteries.