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European Parliament approves new battery regulation

The European Parliament approved new rules for the design, production and waste management of all types of batteries sold in the EU. With 587 votes in favour, nine against and 20 abstentions, MEPs endorsed a deal reached with the Council. The new law considers technological developments and future challenges in the sector and will cover the entire battery life cycle, from design to end-of-life.

For example, it includes a compulsory carbon footprint declaration and label for electric vehicles (EV) batteries, light means of transport (LMT) batteries (for example, for electric scooters and bikes) and rechargeable industrial batteries with a capacity above 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh). It also includes stricter waste collection targets (45 per cent by 2023, 63 per cent by 2027 and 73 per cent by 2030 for portable batteries). The law also indicates the minimum levels of materials recovered from waste batteries: lithium – 50 per cent by 2027 and 80 per cent by 2031; cobalt, copper, lead and nickel – 90 per cent by 2027 and 95 per cent by 2031. Finally, it also contains minimum levels of recycled content from manufacturing and consumer waste for use in new batteries.

“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 rapporteur Achille Variati. “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.”

“We are delighted to welcome the new Batteries Regulation as a significant step forward for the energy storage sector,” commented Patrick Clerens, Secretary General of the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE). “Battery energy storage systems (BESS) play a crucial role in facilitating the energy transition. When utilised for Behind-the-Meter solutions, BESS empower citizens and reduce energy costs for industries. Additionally, when deployed Front-of-the-Meter, BESS maximise the integration of renewable energy sources and contribute to the establishment of a more resilient, sustainable and efficient power grid.”

Following the final vote in plenary, the Council will 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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