Industry Associations Express Concerns on Batteries Regulation Proposal Discussed in European Parliament
Eleven industry associations covering different aspects of the battery value chain, from raw materials supply to battery manufacturing, users of batteries, and recyclers express their concern about key elements considered in ongoing debates in the European Parliament.
January 21, 2022. By News Bureau
- The new Batteries Regulation is a new and holistic blueprint for future initiatives with several completely new measures: from recycled content to due diligence and carbon footprint. However, the battery sector is too important and strategic to just turn it into a test case. Instead, all measures should be designed and implemented acknowledging the complexity involved in their delivery over the next decade.
- In this paper we have identified five key risk areas (and relevant recommendations) from current discussions in the co-decision process, which might endanger the competitiveness of the EU industry and the electrification of the transport, energy and industrial sectors:
1. Recycled content: a very cautious approach is required, and the entire process should also be simplified to reduce administrative burden
2. Design requirements and second life: the regulation should clarify the liability and conditions to reuse, remanufacture or repurpose a battery, but the decision to apply second life provisions should be only left to the market.
3. Material recovery targets: the proposed measures and targets should not jeapordise a thriving EU battery ecosystem and should benefit the environment instead of increasing the carbon footprint.
4. The scope of carbon footprint and of performance and durability: It is impossible to define one-size-fits-all criteria for all batteries, as they all serve different applications and have different technical requirements. Instead we suggest to develop fit-for-purpose product category rules for the carbon footprint calculation, starting with EVs and stationary battery energy storage
5. Restriction of hazardous substances: the regulation includes a new, parallel process to regulate hazardous substances used in batteries, duplicating the existing and well-established REACH restriction. Instead, the proposal should refer to the existing horizontal legislation rather than creating additional product specific requirements.
- We call on co-legislators in the European Parliament and Council to consider fully the global battery market’s diversity and fast pace, and to only introduce new ambitions if their impacts have been fully assessed.
- The current direction witnessed in the co-decision process shows that the EU battery industry will face major risks of multifaceted burden, innovative “test” measures with limited foundations. This ultimately threatens Europe’s strategic autonomy and risks slowing down the much-needed shift to zero emissions set out under the Fit for 55 package and the EU Green Deal.
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