Polycarbonate solutions support recyclability of electric vehicle battery packaging

The future of transport will be powered by batteries. To accelerate adoption, energy storage must be safe, reliable, and ensure full circularity: battery design must facilitate its reuse or recycling.
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Circular battery package with more sustainable polycarbonate

Batteries play a key role in the electrification of transport, but battery packaging is what allows batteries to deliver safe, cost-efficient, versatile and dependable energy to power electric vehicles. Ideal battery packaging should be as compact as possible and contribute to the safe, long-term operation of the electric vehicle. Minimal packaging with maximum performance requires designs that integrate parts and functions with materials that are versatile and tough. Polycarbonate-based materials have proven track record as a solution for  packaging lithium-ion cells for batteries in electric vehicles. Covestro materials provide unmatched dimensional stability and durability over a wide temperature range. This performance is required for multiple parts of the battery pack including enclosures, cell holders, busbar carriers, cooling devices, crash absorbers and battery covers.
The battery cover is the door to an electric vehicle battery, hence the ideal location to place vital information not only regarding the battery but ahead of its second life and recycling process. Polycarbonate-made battery covers could be easily laser marked resulting in a readable code  that provides all the battery relevant information and recyclability options: like an extended battery passport.

“Covestro is focused on efficient battery packaging solutions, relying on our material knowhow and portfolio of circular solutions. We envision a future where battery’s design delivers maximum value and facilitates the recycling by allowing disassembly and providing information for its second life.”

Jimena Ruesta

Sustainability Strategy & Portfolio Enabling, Covestro

More sustainable solutions enable improved designs

The right materials allow the best designs to emerge. The versatility of polycarbonate materials allows Covestro to offer solutions including the more sustainable Makrolon® RE and Bayblend® RE, which are part of the CQ family of circular intelligent solutions at Covestro, for battery packaging components, including:   concealed packaging featuring innovative frames and cell holders for different cell types. Additionally, Covestro solutions can be used for the mono-material battery top cover representing significative carbon footprint savings and the use of mass balanced ISCC PLUS certified bio-circular feedstock for large, lightweight parts.
We work in close collaboration with our customers to bring these designs to life and to ensure technical feasibility, cost-competitiveness and scalability. Covestro developed a top cover made of flame retardant polycarbonate using long glass fiber thermoplastic direct (LFT-D) process,   resulting in 20% weight savings, 50% higher productivity, lower part cost and improved performance against competitive solutions based on metal or sheet molding compound (SMC).
Exciting new packaging solutions are in various stages of development and validation. These next-gen components include  crash absorbers, thermally conductive cell holders, and highly dimensionally stable and resistant  materials to enable cell-to-x technologies

“The battery cover design made with Makrolon® RE can be easily disassembled and provide all the required information for battery second life and recycling. Makrolon® RE requires less fossil raw materials and has a lower carbon footprint compared to the incumbent material while offering the identical dimensional stability, high impact properties and flame retardancy.”

Steven Daelemans

Business Development Manager, Covestro

Key Benefits

  • Flame retardancy Flame retardant compliant polycarbonates offer a proven track record of performance and unmatched versatility as one of the chosen materials in packaging lithium-ion cells for electric vehicles.
  • Tolerances and long range Covestro materials maintain tight tolerances, which help scale production, reduce cycle times and lower costs hence increasing electric vehicles range.
  • Lowering fossil consumption Lower fossil consumption starts at built-phase as renewable materials have been introduced into the value chain.
  • Covestro Solutions: CQ Family Makrolon® RE and Bayblend® RE are part of CQ family of circular intelligent solutions from Covestro.
  • Battery Passport Easy integration into a variety of battery passport’s technologies.
Battery Pack Passport

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