From 2024, only rechargeable industrial and electric vehicles batteries for which a carbon footprint declaration has been established, can be placed on the market within the EU.
Demand for batteries is set to increase 14 fold by 2030, the European Commission says – mostly driven by electric transport making this market an increasingly strategic one at the global level.
Such global exponential growth in demand for batteries will lead to an ‘equivalent increase’ in demand for raw materials, hence the need to minimise their environmental impact.
The Commission proposes mandatory requirements for all batteries (i.e. industrial, automotive, electric vehicle and portable) placed on the EU market.
The new batteries regulation will help reduce the environmental and social impact of all batteries throughout their life cycle.
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.
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said: “Clean energy is the key to European Green Deal, but our increasing reliance on batteries in, for example, transport should not harm the environment.
“The new batteries regulation will help reduce the environmental and social impact of all batteries throughout their life cycle. Today’s proposal allows the EU to scale up the use and production of batteries in a safe, circular and healthy way”.
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.
Better performing batteries will make a key contribution to the electrification of road transport, the Commission says, 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.
With this proposal, the Commission also says it aims 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.
To close the loop and maintain valuable materials used in batteries for as long as possible in the European economy, the Commission proposes to establish new requirements and targets on the content of recycled materials and collection, treatment and recycling of batteries at the end-of-life part.
It says 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.
Europe needs to increase its strategic capacity in new and enabling technologies, such as batteries, that are essential for our industrial competitiveness and to fulfil our green ambitions.
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.
Commission for Internal Market Thierry Breton said: “Europe needs to increase its strategic capacity in new and enabling technologies, such as batteries, that are essential for our industrial competitiveness and to fulfil our green ambitions.
“With investment and the right policy incentives – including today’s proposal for a new regulatory framework – we are helping establish the full batteries value chain in the EU: from raw materials and chemicals via electric mobility all the way to recycling.”