EU Parliament agrees on position on battery regulation
The EU Parliament has now adopted its position on new regulations for batteries’ entire product life cycle. The new regulation means that negotiations with EU governments can begin.
Earlier, the EU Parliament’s Environment Committee had adopted its position on the proposed regulations. However, MEPs in the EU Parliament have gone beyond the position of the Environment Committee and are proposing stricter requirements in terms of sustainability, performance and labeling.
In addition, MEPs say a new category of “batteries for light transport” such as electric bicycles should be introduced and rules for a declaration and labeling of the carbon footprint. In principle, MEPs seek to revise the current legislation “to take account of technological developments.”
This includes a proposal that by 2024, so-called device batteries – i.e., something in smartphones and those “light transportation devices” can be “easily and safely removed” by the end-user and “independent economic operators” (i.e., non-manufacturer service providers and repair shops) themselves. The memo does not mention a similar requirement for batteries from larger e-vehicles such as cars and trucks.
The report also sets minimum targets for recovered cobalt, lead, lithium or nickel from waste for reuse in new batteries and more stringent collection targets for portable batteries. Accordingly, all automotive, industrial and electric vehicle batteries must be collected. For portable batteries, the Parliament goes beyond the Commission’s proposal: 70 per cent of portable batteries are to be collected by 2025 (instead of 65 per cent) and 80 per cent by 2030 (instead of 70 per cent). For light vehicle batteries, the collection rate is to be 75 per cent by 2025 and 85 per cent by 2030.
Rapporteur Simona Bonafè called batteries a “key technology for fostering sustainable mobility and for storing renewable energy.” “For the first time in European legislation, the Battery Regulation lays down a holistic set of rules to govern an entire product life cycle, from the design phase to end-of-life,” Bonafè said. “This creates a new approach to boost the circularity of batteries and introduces new sustainability standards that should become a benchmark for the entire global battery market.”