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Cylib fuels up with €8 million to hit the accelerator on sustainable electric mobility

Aachen-based Cylib has just secured an additional €8 million to supercharge its vision of more sustainable electric mobility. The GreenTech innovators have shaken up the mobility space through its process of recycling lithium traction batteries. 

Adopting electric forms of transport is one of the key ways society can become greener and more sustainable. It reduces emissions, reduces carbon footprints, and represents the future of transport. However, for Electric Vehicles (EVs) to become a genuinely sustainable alternative to existing transport methods, the whole value chain needs to be sustainable, and that includes the electricity source they operate on.

In 2024, the EU is expected to bring in new regulations that will tighten the obligation of EV manufacturers and resellers to recycle batteries at the end of their lifespan – creating a circular, more sustainable system. At the moment, existing lithium battery recycling methods exist but haven’t reached their full potential yet, often not reaching optimum efficiency nor keeping up with the growing demand.

German startup Cylib wants to change that. The team has just fuelled up with new investment as it hits the accelerator on its expansion plans as impactful GreenTech continues to attract investor attention.

Lilian Schwich, CEO and co-founder of cylib: “Since I was a student I considered recycling a powerful tool to reduce the significant environmental impact caused by raw material extraction. Our process recovers all raw materials, including valuable elements such as lithium, cobalt as well as graphite, which are simply disposed of in other processes.”

Funding details

  • €8 million raised in a seed extension round
  • Adds to a €3.5 million raise in 2022
  • The funding was led by World Fund with participation from 10x founders, VSquared Ventures, Speedinvest and business angels Kai Hansen and Karim Jalbout

Founded in 2022 by Lilian Schwich (CEO), Paul Sabarny (CTO) and Dr. Ing. Gideon Schwich (COO), cylib is taking a fresh approach to recycling lithium batteries, and it’s one that could fundamentally improve both Europe’s energy outlook and how e-mobility operates.

cylib co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Paul Sabarny: “cylib’s technology, which was spun out of the prestigious RWTH Aachen University, has been honed and refined to ensure that the raw materials we recover in the battery recycling and redeployment process are as high quality as feasibly possible. This ensures the climate effect of our offering, whilst also providing compelling efficiency metrics and ROI for the numerous EV manufacturers who’ve already placed their confidence in cylib’s proprietary technology”.

The German startup recovers raw materials during the recycling process, reaching a reported recycling efficiency of 90%. This drastically reduces the carbon footprint of the whole battery value chain, whilst also reducing the need to mine additional raw materials, helping to make the electric mobility industry more sustainable.

The method utilizes a water-based process for lithium and graphite recovery, which reduces the use of additives and acids drastically.

The young startup is tapping into a massively growing market. EVs are surging in popularity, and, with tightening EU regulations on the cards, an efficient recycling system is a must-have for the continent.

cylib Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Gideon Schwich: “The upcoming changes of EU regulations on battery recycling will be pivotal, if we are truly to seize the decarbonising potential of switching away from fossil fuel emitting vehicles, transitioning en masse to EVs. Only if all raw materials used in batteries for EVs are able to be safely and sustainably recycled will we establish a true circular economy, powering the mobility of tomorrow”. 

According to Fraunhofer ISI, Europe needs approximately 420,000 tonnes of EV/mobility battery recycling by 2030, and 2.1 million tonnes annually by 2040 alone to keep up with the demand for EVs. This will only expand as uptake continues to rise exponentially, with Europe seeing a 19% increase in personal ownership of EVs in 2021 alone.

With this new investment, cylib will be able to press ahead with its plans, using the money to establish its recycling facility.

Craig Douglas, Partner at World Fund: “Society is slowly weaning itself off dependence on petroleum-based cars and motor vehicles and the industry is transitioning to electric modes of transport. But, if we don’t find a solution to sustainable battery recycling, we could squander the climate gains that EVs offer. cylib’s technology is the missing piece of the puzzle and their technology will deliver real climate gains, by enabling the sustainable recycling of batteries and by cutting down on the damaging mining of primary materials.”

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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