The European Commission presented on Thursday its proposals to make the European Union the second largest battery market in the world, by seizing the niches of sustainability and ethics, while the electrification of the vehicle fleet increases.
Thus, the EU wants to be innovative and catch up with china market. “Over the past three years, the European Union has become a global battery hotspot, with 15 major companies. By 2025, we should manufacture enough battery modules to power 6 million electric cars, we are therefore on the road to strategic autonomy “, stated the Vice-President of the Commission, Maros Sefcovic.
The automotive sector is not the only sector concerned. The proposed regulation also covers batteries in kitchen appliances, TV remote control, alarm clocks, etc.
The Commission estimates that the global demand for batteries will increase 14-fold by 2030, that the‘EU could represent 17% of this demand, becoming the second market after China. Given its climate ambitions, the European executive wants the batteries produced or imported to be sustainable, circular, high-performance and safe throughout their life cycle. “They must be capable of being collected and recycled as secondary sources of valuable raw materials,” said Sefcovic. The current collection rate of 45% should thus increase to 65% in 2025 and to 70% in 2030.
From the July 1, 2024, only the rechargeable industrial and electric vehicle batteries for which one carbon footprint statement has been established may be placed on the market, according to the proposal. From January 1 2026, these batteries must bear an inscription indicating their performance class (type A +, B, …) linked to the carbon footprint and, from July 1 2027, they will have to respect maximum carbon footprint thresholds. Other deadlines extend until 2035, concerning in particular the content of recycled elements.
The social footprint will also be controlled: manufacturers will have to demonstrate that raw materials are ethically responsible and transparent.
L’social footprint will also be controlled: manufacturers will have to demonstrate that the raw materials are ethically responsible and transparent, in particular with regard to cobalt, graphite and lithium, largely imported from developing countries and often acquired at the expense of difficult working conditions and not respectful of fundamental rights, including those of children. Commission says it hopes Council and Parliament will move forward quickly enough on its proposal for a regulation to implement it from 2022.