In a big boost to sustainable mobility, 130 million EVs are expected to hit Europe’s streets by 2035, reaching about half of the total vehicles on the continent. However, this also translates to 130 million dead batteries, which — unless recycled — could end up as a mountain of waste.

Battery upcycling startup Circu Li-ion aims to help solve this challenge. The company has raised €8.5mn in seed funding to create a fully circular battery value chain for Europe’s growing EV market.

Founded in 2021 and based in Luxembourg and Germany, the startup has developed an automated upcycling solution that enables the sustainable recycling of lithium-ion cells for reuse at scale.

Circu Li-ion builds its hardware and software in-house and offers a Machine-as-a-Service product. This harnesses AI to optimise battery discharging, dismantling, disassembly, and health diagnostics to reduce manual labor and minimise the environmental impact. The startup claims that its upcycling solution can save up to 48% of CO2 emissions compared to conventional recycling.

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The company already counts several partnerships with OEMs, micromobility service providers, power tool manufacturers, and European recycling companies. Its ultimate goal is to upcycle three billion batteries by 2035.

Machine for EV battery upcycling