EU passes law for replaceable batteries

EU passes law for replaceable batteries

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The European Parliament has approved new rules for the design, production and recycling of all types of batteries sold in the EU, including making batteries replaceable.

The new law takes into account technological developments and future challenges in the sector and will cover the entire battery life cycle, from design to end-of-life.

This includes a compulsory carbon footprint declaration and digital battery passport for electric vehicles (EV) batteries, light means of transport (LMT) batteries such as electric scooters and bikes, and rechargeable industrial batteries with a capacity above 2kWh.

It also includes designing portable batteries in appliances in such a way that consumers can themselves easily remove and replace them.

The law also targets stricter waste collection targets of 45% by 2023 for portable batteries, rising to 63% by 2027 and 73% by 2030. For LMT batteries this has to be 51% by 2028 and 61% by 2031. Over half the lithium from the batteries will have to be recovered by 2027, rising to 80% by 2031. For cobalt, copper, lead and nickel this will be 90% by 2027 and 95% by 2031.

“For the first time, we have circular economy legislation that covers the entire life cycle of a product – an approach that is good for both the environment and the economy,” said Achille Variati, an Italian MEP and the Rapporteur for the legislation.

“We agreed on measures that greatly benefit consumers: batteries will be well-functioning, safer and easier to remove. Our overall aim is to build a stronger EU recycling industry, particularly for lithium, and a competitive industrial sector as a whole, 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.”

The initiative, first proposed in 2020, is closely linked to the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the New Industrial Strategy.

Following the final vote in plenary, the Council will now have to formally endorse the text before its publication in the EU Official Journal shortly after and its entry into force.


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