The EU Commission has made a deal with 8 partners to review regulations governing EV battery recycling and reuse scenarios. Among the signees is the Renault-Nissan Alliance next to ministers from both France and the Netherlands.
The so-called Innovation Deal (“ID”) is charged with a check on existing regulations on battery recycling. With the concept of a circular economy in mind, a new or adapted framework is to be prepared.
In the case of electric vehicle batteries, which the EU press release calls “propulsion batteries”, there are no specific provisions dealing with second-life applications at EU levels. Therefore the general ones on waste apply, e.g. those laid down by the EU Waste Framework Directive8 and the Batteries Directive9.
In order to make battery recycling and second life use cases an economically feasible as well as ecologically sustainable alternative, the ID focuses on propulsion batteries and will assess whether existing EU legal provisions and the transposition to national or regional law hamper such re-use of batteries.
In concrete terms this means the partners will look at recycling processes as well as energy storage and grid balancing scenarios. This also includes fees applied to storage systems, self-consumption or smart metering and regulations that may hinder their cost-effective implementation.
Apart from EU Commissioners and representatives of Renault-Nissan, Bouygues and Lomboxnet, the ministries of the environment and economy of both France and the Netherlands will share their findings.
The battery innovation deal will result in a report first but will not have any binding, legislative power. The results of the partners research will be reviewed in a year with the final outcome to be published in 18 months.
The EU Commission had called for responsible battery making already at the launch of its European Battery Alliance (EBA).
The EU is not alone in its endeavour to regulate batteries, or in capitalist terms, to do away with regulatory barriers that may hamper the market. In China, Beijing just published a new policy that requires electric carmakers to recycle and collect their old batteries starting now.
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