electric vehicle battery

Germany pursues idea of European ‘battery passport’

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A German-funded consortium of carmakers and battery producers is working to develop a 'passport' that traces the content and carbon footprint of batteries sold in Europe.

Germany's Ministry of Economy has announced the plans of a group of companies within the country's automotive industry to develop a 'passport' that traces the environmental impact of European batteries. BMW, Umicore and BASF are some of the organisations involved in this effort. 

The consortium of 11 partners received €8.2m (about £6.9m) of funding to develop a common taxonomy and set of standards for gathering and disclosing this data, something that could soon become mandatory under European Union (EU) regulations.

Later this year, the European Commission is set to discuss a proposal to ensure that battery producers disclose the carbon footprint and content of recycled materials of all rechargeable electric vehicle, light transport and industrial batteries sold in Europe from 2024, and comply with a CO2 emissions limit from 2027.

By 2030, the EU would require all batteries to use a minimum share of recycled cobalt, lithium, nickel and lead.

Under the proposed battery passport framework, European batteries would carry a QR code linking to an online database where EV owners, businesses or regulators could access information on the battery's composition. This digital tool could also make it easier to recycle raw materials inside batteries, helping to reduce the region's dependence on foreign suppliers, which currently control the vast majority of resources like lithium and nickel, essential for battery production.

The German consortium is the first project in Europe to attempt to design a digital product to meet these regulations, Germany's economy ministry said.

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