Trading house Itochu invests in Shenzhen Pandpower to step up EV battery recycling

30, Oct. 2019

TOKYO, NNA - Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. has bought shares in Shenzhen Pandpower Co. to use the Chinese firm’s technology and recycle electric vehicle batteries into energy storage systems as a new energy business.

In China, sales of electric vehicles, or EVs, have been growing since the mid-2010s and retired batteries are expected to flood the market, Itochu said in a press release on Monday. “How to make effective use of retired EV batteries is a great challenge,” the release said.

Itochu has purchased some of the Chinese firm’s newer shares allocated to third parties, the statement said. Itochu will pay for those shares by the end of October, an Itochu spokesman said without disclosing purchase values or other details.

Shenzhen Pandpower recycles batteries with a remaining capacity at around 80 percent of the initial full charging level, the press release said. The company specializes in collecting, examining and evaluating batteries for possible reuse. It also has a business relationship with BYD Co., a major Chinese manufacturer of vehicles and batteries.

With the help of Pandpower’s expertise in energy storage and supply services, Itochu plans to create local power networks from recycled batteries for areas without normal grids, the spokesman said.

“We target countries where the electric power system is undeveloped, such as some areas in Southeast Asia,” he said. “We also have in mind Australia and others where there is a scarcity of electricity in some areas due to the vastness of land.”