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Brussels proposes boost for European battery sector

11 December 2020, 17:56 CET
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Brussels proposes boost for European battery sector

Thierry Breton - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission published a proposal for a new Batteries Regulation Thursday, an important piece of legislation to define the framework for future investments in the European battery eco-system.

The updated battery policy framework reflects the essential role of batteries in achieving a climate neutral EU society by 2050. It is expected to contribute to the competitiveness of Europe in a green recovery and a global battery market estimated to be worth more than EUR 130bn by 2030.

The Commission is proposing mandatory requirements for all batteries (i.e. industrial, automotive, electric vehicle and portable) placed on the EU market. Requirements such as use of responsibly sourced materials with restricted use of hazardous substances, minimum content of recycled materials, carbon footprint, performance and durability and labelling, as well as meeting collection and recycling targets, are essential for the development of more sustainable and competitive battery industry across Europe and around the world.

Providing legal certainty is expected to help unlock large-scale investments and boost the production capacity for innovative and sustainable batteries in Europe and beyond to respond to the fast-growing market.

Better performing batteries will make a key contribution to the electrification of road transport, which will significantly reduce its emissions, increase the uptake of electric vehicles and facilitate a higher share of renewable sources in the EU energy mix.

The Commission is also aiming to boost the circular economy of the battery value chains and promote more efficient use of resources with the aim of minimising the environmental impact of batteries. From 1 July 2024, only rechargeable industrial and electric vehicles batteries for which a carbon footprint declaration has been established, can be placed on the market.

There will be new requirements and targets on the content of recycled materials and collection, treatment and recycling of batteries at the end-of-life part. This would make sure that industrial, automotive or electric vehicle batteries are not lost to the economy after their useful service life.

To significantly improve the collection and recycling of portable batteries, the current figure of 45% collection rate should rise to 65 % in 2025 and 70% in 2030 so that the materials of batteries we use at home are not lost for the economy. Other batteries – industrial, automotive or electric vehicle ones – have to be collected in full. All collected batteries have to be recycled and high levels of recovery have to be achieved, in particular of valuable materials such as cobalt, lithium, nickel and lead.

The proposed regulation defines a framework that will facilitate the repurposing of batteries from electric vehicles so that they can have a second life, for example as stationary energy storage systems, or integration into electricity grids as energy resources.

Sustainable Batteries proposal - background guide


Proposal for a Regulation on batteries and waste batteries

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