Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers

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On 7 January, EUROBAT provided through the below position paper its (initial) suggestions on the Batteries Regulation to policy makers [1] :

1. Streamline administrative processes for industry and national authorities
2. Adjust the number of secondary acts to where it is really impactful and propose adequate timelines to develop robust methodologies(e.g. on carbon footprint)
3. Re-assess the numerical targets once the methodologies will be developed
4. Clarify how the market accss criteria on batteries will be tested and enforced especially for those batteries imported into the EU
5. Hazardous substance management in batteries shall follow a risk based approach, and avoid duplication of processes with REACH, OSH and the End-of-life Vehicles Directive
6. Focus the scope of carbon footprint, performance and durability criteria on “electric vehicle batteries” and “stationary battery energy storage systems”
7. Consider the specificities of each battery technology and application when developing these sustainability methodologies
8. Standards shall be developed by Standardisation Committees, not by the Commission; hence we strongly recommend removing Article 16
9. Avoid duplication of labelling and information systems and include color coding among labelling information required under Article 13
10. Adopt a careful approach on recycled content, establishing targets only after a detailed methodology will be adopted

Download the full position paper here

 

On 10 December 2020, the European Commission published its proposal on the new Batteries Regulation, which replaces the current Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC). This is a long-awaited and crucial piece of legislation, defining the legislative framework for our industry for the next 15 years. Its aim is not only to provide an updated battery policy framework in view of the essential role of batteries in achieving a zero-emissions EU society by 2050, but also to ensure the competitiveness of Europe in the context of the Green Recovery and the global battery market, estimated to be more than €130bn by 2030. The EU battery industry is not only important from a business and employment perspective - with 30000 employees - but batteries will play a crucial role in achieving the EU decarbonisation targets. If there are no batteries to decarbonise transportation or store renewable energy, we will never achieve the objectives set out  in the Green Deal

EUROBAT calls for ambitious and sustainable measures in the new Batteries Regulation to boost the European battery sector

The European Commission has today published its proposal on the new Batteries Regulation (2020/353). This is a long-awaited and crucial piece of legislation that will define the framework for current and future investments in the European battery eco-system. The new Regulation will provide an updated battery policy framework in view of the essential role of batteries in achieving a climate neutral EU society by 2050. It will also contribute to the competitiveness of Europe in the context of the Green Recovery and the global battery market, estimated to be more than €130bn by 2030.

EUROBAT, the authoritative association for the European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers and supply chain, would like to underline three essential points:

  • Green batteries made in Europe

Europe must be able to take the lead in designing and building the most environmentally sustainable energy storage solutions, and we appreciate that the spirit of the proposal goes in this direction. We welcome that the proposal addresses environmental issues, but also social and market realities, recognising an approach based on sustainability: batteries placed on the EU market must respect stringent environmental parameters, including high recyclability, low carbon footprint and ethical sourcing of raw materials.

However, to avoid hindering innovation in a relatively new sector, the regulation should not be too prescriptive: for instance, efforts to standardise the way battery packs are designed, as part of the EU’s planned standardisation request, would go against optimising design for high-performance, energy-efficient battery products.

  • Legislative coherence and holistic approach

Batteries and substances used in batteries currently fall within the scope of the Batteries Directive, the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive, and REACH. This creates legislative overlaps, a lack of business certainty and incoherent policy directions. We therefore strongly welcome the fact that the new proposal looks at the battery sector holistically and moves towards a risk-based approach, taking into account chemicals management, occupational health and safety policies, competitiveness and sustainability.

However, the new regulation needs to be the sole reference for the legislative framework on batteries. Adaptations in this regard are needed in the new Batteries Regulation, but also in a revised End-of-Life Vehicles Directive.

  • Support for the production of all battery technologies in Europe

All battery technologies – lead, lithium, nickel and sodium – are essential for society to tackle climate change and support the decarbonisation of the transport, energy, logistics, production and telecommunications sectors. Each application requires specific features, and no single battery technology can meet all the challenges of end-user demands.

We therefore appreciate that in most cases the proposal looks at the specificities of each battery technology and applications when it comes to recycling efficiency, collection and information requirements. For instance, the proposal correctly recognises that automotive and industrial batteries are collected at the end of their life, and rightly includes a continuation of the current no-losses policy in this regard. 

Dr. Marc Zoellner, President of EUROBAT and CEO of Hoppecke Batteries, said:

This proposal is an important milestone. All battery technologies and applications will be regulated by this new piece of legislation, stretching all the way from batteries in vehicles and forklift trucks to energy storage and telecommunications. European manufacturing must take a leadership role for a sustainable future, to which all battery technologies will contribute.

Following the publication of the proposal, Rene Schroeder, Executive-Director of EUROBAT, said:  

“The Commission’s proposal has the potential to be a real gamechanger with its 360° policy approach. Sustainability and decarbonisation must go hand-in-hand with an ambitious industrial policy for batteries, as well as a comprehensive and technology-inclusive research and innovation framework. “

As next steps, EUROBAT and its members will analyse the proposal and proactively contribute to the debate in the European Parliament and Council on the proposed regulation, which has the potential to guarantee the future of a sound and sustainable battery industry in Europe.


MEDIA CONTACT:   Gert Meylemans

+32 2 761 1653 / +32 475 565 6561

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Please see our press release, as well as the European Commission's full proposal for a new Batteries Regulation.

Further details of our policy asks can found in out Position Paper and "Election Manifesto 2019-2024".