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04.08.2023 | Battery | Editor´s Pick | Nachrichten

These are the New EU Rules for Sustainable Batteries

verfasst von: Christiane Köllner

2 Min. Lesedauer

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The Council of the European Union has passed the new Battery Regulation. The new regulations are intended to promote a circular economy by regulating batteries throughout their life cycle.

After three years, the EU Battery Regulation has cleared the final hurdle. The member states of the European Union (Council of the European Union) have voted to adopt the new regulation, which aims to tighten sustainability rules for batteries and scrap batteries. In mid-June, the EU Parliament had passed the EU Battery Regulation. The regulation enters into force on 17 August 2023, replacing the current Battery Directive from 2006.

First proposed in December 2020, the regulation aims to regulate the entire life cycle of a battery - from manufacturing to reuse and recycling - and ensure that batteries are safe, sustainable and competitive. It applies to all batteries, including all spent portable batteries, spent traction batteries, spent industrial batteries, spent starter batteries (mainly used for vehicles and machinery) and spent batteries for light transport (for example, electric bikes, e-mopeds, e-scooters).

Key Points of the EU Battery Regulation

  • The regulation sets collection targets for spent portable batteries for producers (63 % by the end of 2027, 73 % by the end of 2030) and introduces a specific collection target for spent batteries for light transport (51 % by the end of 2028 and 61 % by the end of 2031).
  • The regulation sets a target of recycling 50 % of lithium from spent batteries by the end of 2027 and 80 % by the end of 2031, which could be changed by delegated acts depending on market and technological developments and the availability of lithium.
  • Under the regulation, there is a mandatory minimum recycled content for industrial batteries, starter batteries and traction batteries. These were initially set at 16 % for cobalt, 85 % for lead, 6 % for lithium and 6 % for nickel. Batteries must have proof of the recycled content.
  • A recycling efficiency target of 80 % by the end of 2025 is set for nickel-cadmium batteries and 50 % by the end of 2025 for other spent batteries.
  • Starting in 2027, portable batteries installed in appliances should be able to be removed and replaced by end users, according to the regulation. Batteries for light transport must be able to be replaced by an independent specialist.
  • The regulation introduces labeling and information requirements, including with regard to battery components and recycled content, as well as an electronic "battery passport" and a QR code. The regulations for the labeling will apply from 2026 and for the QR code from 2027.
  • The aforementioned criteria are flanked by requirements for stricter due diligence obligations for economic actors in the environmental and social areas. The players must check the origin of the raw materials used for batteries placed on the market. The regulation provides for an exemption from the due diligence requirements for small and medium-sized enterprises.
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