Aucnet and MIRAI-LABO Jointly Entering Business of Recycling and Distributing Used EV Batteries

9 February 2021

Aucnet Inc., an information distribution support service provider based in Tokyo's Minato-ku, and MIRAI-LABO Co., Ltd. headquartered in Hachioji City, Tokyo, a company developing various energy-saving environmental products based on photovoltaic paving panels, lithium-ion battery uninterruptible switching technology, and LED reflector lighting technology, will launch a joint project to enter the used EV battery recycling and distribution business in February 2021.

With its unique battery grading technology and MBMS (Multiple Battery Management System) (*), MIRAI-LABO has succeeded in recycling (reusing) used EV batteries for autonomous street lighting dubbed "THE REBORN LIGHT." In the future, along with the spread of systems that utilize reused EV batteries, including the AIR (Autonomous Intelligent Road) solar power generation pavement, known as Solar Mobiway, and distributed power generation and distributed power storage systems, a large number of reused EV batteries will be buried under the road.

(*) A system that monitors and controls multiple batteries to ensure that they are working properly.

Image 2: "AIR" in MIRAI-LABO

Image 3: MIRAI-LABO's autonomous street lighting "THE REBORN LIGHT"

Aucnet, on the other hand, has been engaged in online auctions for 35 years in several business areas, including used cars. In the automobile business, Aucnet conducts inspections and grading of more than one million used cars per year through AIS Inc., which was established with investments from companies handling used cars of Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Subaru. In addition, in the digital product business, Aucnet performs data erasure, inspection and grading of over two million used smartphones, PCs, etc. per year, and sells them both domestically and internationally through global auctions. In this way, Aucnet has established know-how not only in inspection, but also in the standardization of grading technology for circulation-based auction distribution.

Image 4: Inspection and grading of used cars and used smartphones by Aucnet

The two companies will share each other's technology and know-how through a capital and business alliance concluded in 2019, and have now decided to prepare for entry into the new regenerative EV battery business and related markets.

In the automotive industry, the shift to EVs is underway worldwide from the perspective of environmental protection and sustainable development. On the other hand, although lithium-ion batteries installed in EVs utilize cutting-edge technology and rare mineral resources, a scheme for lifetime reuse to maximize their value has yet to be established. Through this joint project, Aucnet and MIRAI-LABO hope to contribute to the sustainable development of the automotive industry and to the solution to environmental issues by realizing the secondary distribution of EVs and the recycling and distribution of lithium-ion batteries.

In addition, by establishing inspection and grading technology for EV batteries, this project will also address the proper evaluation and formation of a fair price for used EVs, which are said to be more prone to decline in residual value compared to fuel vehicles. Aucnet and MIRAI-LABO will launch a joint project by the end of February 2021, which will make a significant contribution to achieving the U.N. SDGs.

Image 5: Secondary distribution of EVs and recycling of lithium-ion batteries


1. EV production volume trends
Europe, the U.S. state of California, China, and other countries/regions have announced a ban on the sale of new gasoline vehicles, including HVs, in the 2030s. According to a survey conducted by Yano Research Institute, the number of EVs (including HEVs and PHEVs) produced in 2016 was approximately 3.5 million units, and is expected to exceed 20 million units by 2030.
Source: Yano Research Institute, Ltd. "Survey on the xEV Global Market (2020)"
(released on August 17, 2020)

2. Used battery market trends
55,000 used EV batteries were recovered in 2018 but the number is estimated to surge to 3.4 million by 2025.

-Aucnet company profile
Company name: Aucnet Inc.
Head office: Aoyama OM Square, 2-5-8 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo (107-8349, Japan)
Representative: Kiyotaka Fujisaki, Chairman & CEO; Shinichiro Fujisaki, President & COO
Date of establishment: June 29, 1985
Capital: 1,729 million yen (as of December 31, 2019)
Consolidated net sales: 19.6 billion yen (as of December 31, 2019)
Consolidated number of employees: 664 (as of December 31, 2019)
Stock: First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Stock code: 3964)
Business description: Information distribution support service business, including the hosting and operation of auctions using the Internet

MIRAI-LABO company profile
Company name: MIRAI-LABO Co., Ltd.
Head office: 3-3-20 Sennin-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo (193-0835, Japan)
Representative: Toshio Hiratsuka, Representative Director
Date of establishment: April 6, 2006
Capital: 480 million yen (as of December 31, 2020)
Number of employees: 24 (as of January 1, 2021)