A new law passed by the European Union is bound to make car batteries more sustainable throughout their entire lifecycle. Manufacturers will need to show that the materials used to produce their batteries were sourced responsibly.
1. Sustainable batteries
The new law builds on the European Commission’s proposal from December 2020 and updates the so-called Batteries Directive from 2006. Once the new bill enters into force, battery producers will face tougher environmental and due diligence standards if they want to sell in the European market. Manufacturers will be requested to report batteries’ entire carbon footprint, from mining to production to recycling, starting in 2024.
Energizing news! Negotiations on new EU #batteries law have just concluded. Batteries will become more sustainable throughout their lifecycle:— EU Environment (@EU_ENV) December 9, 2022
✅Lower carbon footprint
✅More recycled materials
👉https://t.co/PUyFXgsFr3#zeropollution #circulareconomy pic.twitter.com/olEgqVIZtp
2. Forefront of standards settings
The campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the new law calling it a “game changer”. Alex Keynes, Clean Vehicles Manager at T&E said the new legislation will put Europe at the forefront of standards setting, paving the way for the rest of world to follow. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal said the new law will “support scaling up battery use and production” and “ensure it is done in a safe, circular and health way”. Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said the 27-bloc is mobilising substantial public and private investments in the battery value chain, and that the new law will ensure that batteries placed in the EU market — even if produced in a third country — are sustainable and safe throughout their entire life cycle.
Deal on #battery regulation!🔋🇪🇺— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) December 9, 2022
Batteries are central to electric mobility — with demand multiplied x14 by 2030.
Our regulation will ensure:
✔️Green mobility creates jobs in Europe
✔️We are not just subcontractors
✔️Every battery put on our market is sustainable & safe pic.twitter.com/HsCcmL8pUj
With the new bill, higher collection targets will be introduced — for portable batteries the targets will be 63% in 2027 and 73% in 2030, while for batteries from light means of transport, the target will be 51% in 2028 and 61% in 2031. Valuable materials such as copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel and lead are expected to be substantially recovered during the recycling process and brought back to the EU economy. The EU is setting material recovery targets for lithium at 50% by 2027 and 80% by 2031.
4. EVs cheaper than petrol and diesel
In light of the growing demand for batteries, Breton noted electric mobility is a “new and coveted market” and Europe needs to stand up to the fierce global competition. In the current context of rising energy prices, recent data suggests that owning and running an electric vehicle is lower than for a petrol or diesel car. “EVs in nearly every segment and European country are now the same price or cheaper on a total cost of ownership (TCO) basis than petrol or diesel cars,” stated the Lease Plan report, which has compared 1.9 million vehicles across 22 European countries. The study, featured by the Financial Times, was based on collated running costs and lease prices for its vehicles, comparing them by segment. It also considered charging costs, reaching the conclusion that 15% of the cost of owning and running an electric car, while the cost of refueling a diesel vehicle was 28% of the TCO. The data were retrieved from a four-year lease and assumed annual travel of 30,000km across 132 models.