Updated: Nov 9, 2021
What is it?
On 10 December 2020, the European Commission proposed a new Batteries Regulation (with annexes). The aim of the proposed amendments is to ensure the sustainability and safety of batteries — placed on the EU market — throughout their entire life cycle. Revoking the 2006 Batteries Directive and 2019/1020 Regulation, this modernisation of the EU legislation contributes to the zero pollution ambition as part of the Circular Economy objectives of the European Green Deal.
(Image source: John Cameron, Unsplash)
Why Does it Matter?
Approximately 800.000 tons of automotive batteries, 190.000 tons of industrial batteries, and 160.000 tons of consumer batteries enter the European Union annually. The batteries represent valuable resources which could be used as input for new products and processes. Recycling of batteries could not only contribute to retaining the value of the materials, but also to avoid the release of hazardous substances which may lead to adverse impacts on the environment. Unfortunately, the current state of efficient collection and recycling of all these batteries is below par. The functioning of the recycling markets and related barriers are one of the key problems that are tackled by the proposal.
What does this mean for the industry?
To ensure a competitive, circular, sustainable and safe value chain for all batteries entering the EU, the regulation is incentivising the repurposing of batteries at the end of its first use and setting the implementation of an electronic information exchange system (IES) for battery information as well as the implementation of a Battery Passport for each battery put into the market. Until the end of 2021, the economic operator that places rechargeable industrial batteries and electric vehicle (EV) batteries with internal storage & capacity above 2 kWh on the EU market, will have to comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations.
The European Battery Alliance (EBA) recognises that the whole value chain — from raw material supplies to battery recycling — is of strategic interest for the EU and therefore has set a target of 200 GWh/year manufacturing capacity to be available in the EU as of 2025.
(Image source: European Battery Alliance)
For more extensive information about the EBA initiative we spoke with Thore Sekkenes (EBA Program Director, Industry at InnoEnergy Scandinavia AB) and Christophe de Charentenay (Founder of Renault / Nissan / Dongfeng JV for affordable EV & Investor in Urban Tech for Low Carbon mobility).