EU battery law should support all chemistries
A new era for batteries regulation has come into force in Europe after the EU Parliament voted in favour of new rules covering their design, production and recycling.
The new legislation establishes new rules for manufacturing and recycling in Europe, including setting minimum levels of materials recycling – with a 90 per cent target set for lead recovery by 2027. In Europe lead batteries collected at the end of their life are already fully recycled and the materials re-used in new batteries.
By introducing the new law, the EU said its overall aim is to create a stronger EU recycling industry. The Italian MEP who steered the legislation through the EU Parliament, Achille Variati, said: “Our overall aim is to build…a competitive industrial sector as a while, which is crucial in the coming decades for our continent’s energy transition and strategic autonomy. These measures could become a benchmark for the entire global battery market.”
Initiatives included in the new legislation include measuring the carbon footprint of battery production as well as materials recovery and recycling.
However much of the detailed decisions will be made in a raft of secondary legislation which the new law has triggered, and which will take many years to complete.
Commenting on the new law, Dr Steve Binks, ILA’s Regulatory Affairs Director, said: “The new regulation approved by the EU Parliament is the first piece of legislation that covers the entire battery life cycle, from design to end-of-life. In Europe, nearly all lead batteries are collected at the end of their life and processed by a highly efficient network of extensively regulated recyclers.
“On average new batteries manufactured in the region contain more than 80 per cent of recycled raw materials. Lead batteries are almost unique in their delivery of a circular economy that means that European production is not dependent upon the import of critical raw materials and is strategically autonomous. Legislators must now ensure that the plethora of secondary legislation built into the proposal is properly developed to facilitate strong and globally competitive battery value chains for all chemistries.”