Lithium-ion batteries are crucial to enable decarbonisation efforts and will be used to electrify mobility vehicles, machines, drones, or power banks. However, Europe’s ambition for electrification and increasing the LiB production results in a shocking high dependence on mining countries not only resulting in supply chain constraints but also in real geopolitical and ESG tension for Europe.
Taking this challenge headon to build lithium-ion batteries in Europe, Munich-based climate tech startup tozero has brought in €3.5 million in funding to recover critical materials such as lithium, nickel and cobalt from lithium-ion batteries. The round was led by Atlantic Labs and backed by Verve Ventures, Possible Ventures, angels investors and serial founders, including former VW board member Jochem Heizmann and co-founders of Personio and FINN.
With the new capital addition, the platform will build its prototype plant in Munich, Germany - where one-third of Europe’s lithium-ion batteries are planned to be produced by 2030.
Founded by Sarah Fleischer and Ksenija Milicevic Neumann, the company aims to build lithium-ion battery recycling in Europe. tozero wants to close the loop of lithium-ion batteries and bring toxic waste to zero returning the raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel etc. back into the market. These materials will be provided as fresh battery-grade materials to battery producers and herewith decrease the environmental footprint and strengthen the geopolitical position of Europe
“We need to act now and build a scalable and robust battery recycling process. At tozero, we’re committed to challenge the status quo of material life-cycle to accelerate decarbonization. This will allow us to enter the electrification era without worries, continue innovation and increase quality of life without compromising,” said Sarah Fleischer, co-founder and CEO.
“Introducing a novel and sustainable way to recycle black mass from lithium-ion batteries is a game changer in the industry, allowing for significantly higher recovery rates of key metals than with currently used methods,” added Daniel Niemi, principal at Atlantic Labs.