Lead-acid batteries and lithium raw materials have been dragged into the now highly-charged trade tariffs bust-up between the US and China.
President Donald Trump has ordered that “lead-acid batteries of any kind” be included in a new list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports subject to tariffs of 10%.
Austria-based lead batteries veteran Banner has booked record sales of more than EUR300 million ($348m) for the first time in the firm’s 80-year history.
The company said revenue for the year ended March 2018 was up 11% over the previous year— with growth driven by “strong demand for starter batteries for start-stop vehicles”.
Battery industry chiefs have warned that a fresh assault on lead by European regulators risks “short-circuiting” proposals for an EU batteries revolution.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECA) said on 27 June it was adding lead metal to the EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) candidate list of substances requiring authorisation.
Authorities in China are being urged to shut down “substandard” secondary lead production facilities as part of moves to boost the recycling of lead-acid batteries.
China’s lead consumption largely depends on the use of secondary lead, the chairman of the China Industrial Alliance of Renewable Energy, Li Shilong, told the Shanghai Metals Market Lead Zinc Summit in Guangxi Province.
Indian lead producer and exporter Gravita has signed a recycling agreement with the country’s industrial and automotive battery producer Amara Raja Batteries.
The contract for lead-acid battery scrap collection and recycling was part of a “joint initiative toward environmental protection and sustainability”, Gravita said in a National Stock Exchange of India announcement.
East Penn Manufacturing has signed a commercial arrangement with New Zealand-based ArcActive to further develop carbon fibre electrode technology for lead batteries.
East Penn chief operations officer Bob Flicker (pictured) said the move will allow the lead-acid producer to “scale up the manufacture and testing of batteries” using ArcActive’s electrodes.
The German government is backing research in the country designed to help “safeguard the future of lead-acid batteries”.
Goals of the AddESun project include helping the lead industry to achieve “more sustainable production, improved charging behaviour, longer service life and higher power density”.