EU lawmakers approve new rules to make batteries greener

The EU parliament approved on Wednesday new rules to make batteries more durable, more sustainable, and better performing.

The new rules, which will come into force once the European Council has formally endorsed the text, affect the design, production and waste management of all types of batteries sold in the EU.

Europe’s battery demand is set to soar this decade, spurred by the 30 million electric vehicles the EU says its citizens will be driving by 2030.

The new regulations seek to ensure that this demand is met by greener batteries with lower emissions, produced using recycled materials.

Under the rules, light means of transport (LMT) batteries (e.g. for electric scooters and bikes) and rechargeable industrial batteries must declare and label their carbon footprint.

As battery manufacturing is largely dependent on critical raw ma-terial imports, which have a significant environmental and societal impact, eight years after the regulation goes into force, there will also be an obligation to use minimum recycled cobalt, lithium, nickel, and lead.

Additionally, to encourage battery recycling, the new rules set out targets for EU countries to collect 63 percent of portable batteries by 2027 and 70 percent by 2030, up from the current target of
45 percent which data from 2020 shows was largely met.

“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,” MEP Achille Variati said.

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