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Council of the European Union
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Currently there is a high environmental footprint in the production of a battery. Many new raw materials are sourced to produce batteries, and waste batteries contain hazardous substances that can harm the environment.
The Council agreed a general approach on new rules which will make the battery value chain more sustainable and circular.
The rules will also ensure that all economic operators are subject to the same rules, which will create a level playing field and give the EU competitive edge on the global markets.
Batteries are found in devices we use daily, such as our smartphones, electric bikes, cars and scooters.
Batteries also play an essential role in our transition to a green economy.
The uptake of electric vehicles will increase their demand.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON THE ROAD
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
2019: 1.8 million
2030: 30 million
GLOBAL DEMAND FOR BATTERIES including home domestic batteries
2030: x14 demand increases
2030: –50% price reduction
INCREASE IN DEMAND FOR RAW MATERIALS Lithium, manganese, cobalt, nickel
2019: Significant environmental impact and high amount of waste
2030: Risk of reserves exhausted
Lithium – ion demand +30% each year
PRODUCTION OF BATTERIES IN THE EU
2019: EU invests €60 billion in European battery production and electric cars
2025: Local producers could cover the EU’s demand
2030: EU produces next generation battery technologies
2050: The EU sets a global sustainable standard in a fast growing market
Mining: new raw materials from outside the EU, pollution of natural resources, energy use
Refinery: high carbon footprint, pollution, different standards, low durability
Market: lack of common standards, competition from other markets, lack of information for customers along the value chain,
End of use: Toxic substances like cadmium, mercury released in the environment, resources like cobalt and lithium lost in waste, few effective waste collection, treatment and recycling services, no second life for batteries
WITH THE NEW EU RULES
Mining: Due-diligence of raw materials’ origin, carbon intensity requirements and more efficient use of raw materials
Refinery: Reduced carbon footprint, more recycled content in new batteries second life for industrial batteries, performance and durability requirements, carbon intensity requirements for production processes, ban on hazardous substances like cadmium, mercury
Market: Promote a circular battery industry, market for secondary raw materials, EU Eco label to batteries, clearer labelling and information with “battery passports”
End of use: Strict collection schemes and recycling targets, better end of life use of batteries, better recycling of waste batteries, incentives recycling with deposit centres
An effective, sustainable battery value chain can only happen if all actors are subject to the same requirements.
Sources: Council of the European Union, European Commission
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