Innovating battery circularity: highlights from the EIT InnoEnergy Hackathon

Li-ion batteries are pivotal in the energy transition, yet they present significant circularity challenges – like shortages of critical raw materials and the management of substantial waste streams. Addressing these issues is crucial for sustainable development in this field. At last Friday’s EIT InnoEnergy CommUnity Hackathon, Bax & Company battery innovation specialists Piotr Grudzień and Maarten Buysse guided the next generation of battery professionals in solving these circularity challenges. 

Powering solutions with the Battery Circularity Game

The objective of the hackathon challenge was to optimise the utility of electric vehicle (EV) batteries while ensuring their genuine sustainability. Participants were tasked with devising an innovative tool and a business model to assist in selecting among various circularity scenarios: repair, reuse, and recycle. This challenge relates to the BatteReverse project, a collaborative R&I initiative in which we analyse and develop new business models to improve the reverse logistics of EV batteries.

The 12-hour hackathon saw six teams, each with five graduate students, developing tools to address key battery circularity challenges. The event began with the Battery Circularity Game, a workshop developed and facilitated by Piotr and Maarten. In this interactive session, students assumed the roles of over 20 different stakeholders, gaining insights into their challenges and business objectives. This set the stage for the teams to delve into developing innovative battery circularity tools, aiming to present not just creative concepts but also viable business cases.

The winning solution: BAT-REVIVE

The winning team proposed an innovative approach to managing the life cycle of EV batteries. Their concept involved offering car owners a subscription to a battery analysis service through insurance companies. The service, named BAT-REVIVE, would provide battery replacement options to extend the EV’s lifetime and find suitable second-life applications for old batteries. This idea was praised by the jury for its convincing business case, creating value for car owners and maximising battery lifetimes.

The most promising participants from the hackathon have been invited to apply for internship positions at Bax & Company to further develop their ideas.

We enjoy experimenting with different tools to foster innovation, and the hackathon proved very effective in gaining new perspectives. Our team was truly inspired by the students’ out-of-the-box approaches. While there could only be one winner, we believe all teams have the potential to become start-ups revolutionising EV battery circularity.

Piotr Grudzień

Join us at the Future Battery Forum 

The next opportunity to play our Battery Circularity Game will be at the Future Battery Forum in Berlin on November 28th.

The game is limited to 40 participants and can only be attended with an all-access ticket, so don’t wait too long to register:

Use the discount code FBF23PREMIUM to get 30% off your ticket price!

Get in touch with the battery team

If you’re curious to learn about our battery initiatives like BatteReverse or COBRA, reach out to a member of our team below.