EU adopts ‘battery passport’ law for traceability

The EU has formally adopted a new regulation that strengthens sustainability rules for batteries and introduces a traceability requirement for some using unique identifiers and a battery ‘passport’.

The regulation aims to cover the entire life cycle of batteries used in products like electronic devices and electric vehicles – from production to reuse and recycling – and ensure that they are safe, sustainable and responsibly disposed of at the end of their life.

By January 1 2026, all electrical and industrial batteries on the EU market with a capacity of over 2 kWh will have to bear a unique serial number, which must be clearly visible on the unit, as well as information on the production date, the battery type and model, its chemical composition, and intended use.

A printed or engraved QR code linking to the passport and giving the battery’s performance classification for carbon impact, electrochemical performance, and durability is also required, with the aim of helping consumers understand their characteristics.

It must include information on “the origin, composition, repair, and disassembly options of a product as well as how the various components can be recycled.”

The traceability requirement is thought to set a precedent around the world, coming at a time when the number of electric vehicles on EU roads is ramping up and there are rising concerns about the need to re-use critical raw materials and reduce the bloc’s reliance on third-country imports.

Lithium-based batteries can pose a heavy environmental burden from the point of extraction through to disposal, as they contain toxic metals like cobalt, nickel and manganese that can contaminate water supplies and ecosystems if they leach out of landfill sites. Moreover, lithium is a finite resource that could eventually be depleted.

Earlier this year, the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) industry group unveiled its proof-of-concept model for the battery passport that it said establishes a digital twin of a physical battery and has been piloted by carmakers Audi and Tesla and their supply chain partners.

The overall aim of the new rules – which will be implemented over several years – is to promote a circular economy for batteries through to the end of their life.

By the end of 2027, producers will have to collect 63 per cent of waste from portable batteries, rising to 73 per cent by end-2030. For batteries used in electric vehicles, the target is 51 per cent by end-2028 and 61 per cent by end-2031.

The regulation also sets a target for lithium recovery from waste batteries of 50 per cent by the end of 2027 and 80 per cent by the end of 2031 and mandatory minimum levels of recycled content for electric vehicle and industrial batteries.

The recycling efficiency target for nickel-cadmium batteries is set at 80 per cent by the end of 2025 and 50 per cent by the same deadline for other waste batteries. And by 2027, portable batteries incorporated into appliances should be removable and replaceable by the end user.

Image by Mikes-Photography from Pixabay

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top