Where are we on the upcoming Batteries Regulation?
Batteries from electric vehicles became a priority for the European Commission in 2019 and will be a priority for the Von der Leyen Commission too. The fast-track ecodesign preparatory study is now finished, and a follow-up study looking at other aspects will be finalised in January 2020.
Sustainable sourcing of raw materials like Cobalt or Lithium, light electric vehicles (e-bikes, e-scooters…), and carbon footprint of the manufacturing process of batteries are among the aspects that are looked at in this follow-up study.
Batteries will not likely not be regulated through the existing ecodesign framework, but rather by a standalone Regulation that will go through the co-decision process. This means that the European Parliament and the Council (Member State representatives) will be involved, which is not the case for Ecodesign Regulations. What is still unclear is whether there will also be a revision of the Batteries Directive, or if all aspects will be covered in the Batteries Regulation. A Package of legal texts on batteries is expected, and the Commission should put its proposal forward in the first quarter of 2020.
With electromobility on the rise, it is crucial to regulate batteries because of their carbon footprint, as well as resource intensity of their production process. Having raised this issue on numerous occasions before, we very much hope for a speedy process, resulting in the adoption of a robust regulation as soon as possible.