Europe is being urged to overhaul regulations to ensure more lithium-ion batteries are kept in the bloc for recycling— instead of being ‘lost’ when end-of-life electric vehicles are exported to be scrapped.
The Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, Eurobat, has warned the “relative scarcity of these batteries entering the recycling stream is currently preventing the development of a business case for recyclers”.
This makes lithium-based EV batteries a net ‘taker’ of raw materials, Eurobat said.
Now the trade body is calling on EU legislators to tackle the issue when the next European Parliament is convened following elections in May.
A recent report that said more than half of Europe’s used batteries “disappear” without proper treatment because of “outdated” recycling rules.
In its ‘policy manifesto’ of recommendations for the incoming legislature, Eurobat said: “The EU needs to ensure access to key raw materials for battery production through trade agreements with third countries and the boosting of recycling of new battery technologies in Europe.”
“There is also a growing need for the development of standards— particularly safety and recycling for new products and technologies. For instance, this applies to the growing use of lithium in electric vehicles, which in the future will increasingly need to be recycled.”
A Eurobat spokesperson told BEST Battery Briefing more could also be done to ensure end-of-life vehicles are not illegally shipped to Africa. “We believe that the EU legislator needs to specify in more detail the difference between second-hand vehicles and end-of-life vehicles. This is one of the key points that will be addressed during the review of the EU End-of-Life Vehicles Directive.”