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Feb 24 -- The purpose of this RFI is to solicit input for a potential future ARPA-E research program focused on achieving a circular and domestic battery supply chain for various types of electric vehicles including scooters, cars, buses, trucks, trains, ships, and aircrafts. Responses to this RFI should be submitted in PDF format to the email address ARPA-E-RFI@hq.doe.gov by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Monday, April 3, 2023.

The potential program is not concerned with supplies of critical minerals or with existing battery recycling processes. Instead, it focuses on alternative strategies that can be implemented to achieve circularity including servicing, upgrading, refurbishing, and remanufacturing of batteries. The primary goals are (1) to identify materials (e.g., electrode materials, electrolytes, adhesives) amenable to in-cell regeneration to prolong the life of batteries, (2) to develop sustainable design and manufacturing of battery cells, modules, and packs that facilitate serviceability, disassembly, refurbishing, and recovery of materials and/or components at the end of life, and (3) to minimize waste, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions during the battery lifecycle. Such transformation should be achieved without affecting the performance and safety of the battery packs.

ARPA-E is seeking information at this time regarding transformative and implementable technologies that can:

-- Extend the life of battery materials, cells, modules, and/or pack through regeneration, servicing or maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, and remanufacturing. Examples include selection of electrode materials that can be regenerated through thermomechanical, chemical, and/or electrochemical treatments,
-- Develop designs and manufacturing processes for cells, modules and packs that can be easily disassembled to enable servicing, reuse, refurbishing, or remanufacturing, and
-- Minimize the overall amount of waste generated, energy consumed, and greenhouse gas emitted throughout the battery manufacturing, servicing, and recycling processes. Examples include designs that avoid permanent bonding or any fabrication that requires destructive disassembly (e.g., shredding).

Questions include:
III. LCA and circularity metrics
10) In your opinion, if a technology program focusing on the above-mentioned concerns were to be developed further, what would be the most impactful technical metrics to consider, and why?
11) What metrics might be used to assess the profitability impact of moving towards more circular business models?
12) What metrics might be used to assess the environmental impact of manufacturing and/or servicing battery cells and packs?
IV. Technoeconomic analysis and economic opportunities
13) What are the business benefits and opportunities in achieving a circular and domestic battery supply chain?
14) To what extent are circularity metrics considered in an OEMs’ product design and procurement decisions?
15) What are the key technical and economic drivers and obstacles in deciding to redesign parts and components of EV battery packs and the associated manufacturing process(es)?
16) Does the prospect of robotaxis and other shared mobilities or the emergence of customers with large fleets of EVs affect the way OEMs approach battery material selection, rejuvenation/refurbishing opportunities, and design and recyclability of battery modules and packs?

RFI notice: https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaIdcd9cd241-0872-4832-8e10-8fc5e57b1a1e
RFI: https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/FileContent.aspx?FileID=381e6ea3-eb7f-4769-bee0-7607a135bf11

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