$375 million loan to local company that recycles batteries for electric car batteries

ROCHESTER, NY If you have a smartphone, it is probably powered by a lithium battery.

A local company recycles them to help build the batteries that power electric cars. Ajay Kochhar runs Li-Cycle. On Monday, News10NBC learned that his company will receive a $375 million loan from the federal government.

The money comes from last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. Li-Cycle started seven years ago. It takes old lithium batteries, recycles the lithium, cobalt and nickel and sells that material to make new electric batteries. You can’t make the batteries without those chemicals.

Ajay Kochhar, CEO of Li-Cycle: We used to work in the lithium room. We saw all this lithium being wasted and we thought, well, that’s crazy. How is that better than hydrocarbons? That’s why we’re called Li-Cycle.

Senator Chuck Schumer quoted the Federal Department of Energy.

Senator Chuck Schumer, (D) New York: With this investment, Li-Cycle will become, listen up, Li-Cycle will become the largest supplier of lithium carbonate in all of America.

The batteries are small, but Li-Cycle is building a factory on the Eastman Business Park that can fit 50 football fields.

Brian: If the battery goes into my phone or goes into the toy into my son’s electric dinosaur, will that battery end up with you and will you recycle it?
Ajay Kochhar, CEO of Li-Cycle: Yes that’s right. So you have to find local collection centers. They are often in stores. Those groups take it, separate the batteries and give it to us.

Only 10 percent of lithium batteries are recycled. The industry needs that for 90 percent. You can recycle yours at the county ecopark behind the airport or at stores like Best Buy, Lowes, Target, Sprint, and Verizon.






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