China recycled 115,000 tons of used power batteries in January-May, more than the total for the whole of last year.

Waste battery recycling is growing rapidly along with China's new energy vehicle (NEV) industry.

In January-May, China recycled 115,000 tons of used power batteries, more than the total amount for the whole of last year, Tao Qing, spokeswoman for China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a news conference today.

China is continuously enhancing its resource recycling capacity and has built more than 10,000 recycling service outlets for used power batteries, Tao said.

As a next step, the country will study and formulate management methods for recycling power batteries for NEVs and continuously improve the recycling system, she said.

China's NEVs have seen explosive growth over the past three years, selling 6,887,000 units in 2022, up 95.60 percent from 2021, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In the first half of this year, China's NEV sales amounted to 3,745,000 units, up 44.54 percent year-on-year, according to the CAAM.

Chen Shihua, deputy secretary-general of the CAAM, said at a July 13 forum that China's NEV sales are expected to reach 9 million units this year.

Currently, the penetration rate of NEVs in third-tier and lower-tier cities is low, but driven by factors including the further construction of charging facilities, these cities as well as rural areas will become the main areas for NEV sales growth, Chen said.

With the rapid development of the NEV industry, the power battery recycling market is getting more attention.

The global battery recycling market will exceed RMB 100 billion ($14 billion) by 2025 and reach RMB 150 billion by 2027, according to a previous forecast by market research firm GGII.

By 2030, the volume of retired batteries in China will reach 437 GWh, with a recycling market valued at RMB 169.5 billion, according to a research note by Huaan Securities earlier this year.

The potential of the sector has already attracted startups.

On January 4, Nio Capital announced that it led a hundred of millions of RMB in Series A funding for battery recycling company Ruilong Technology.

Ruilong will increase its efforts in waste battery procurement channel development and technology development after this round of financing, Capital said at the time.

($1 = RMB 7.2157)

NIO Capital leads Series A funding round in local battery recycling firm