Part of the Cluster Hub “Production of raw materials for batteries from European resources”, the RHINOCEROS consortium received the online visit of FREE4LIB representatives during the second day of the Consortium meeting held in Gothenburg. This initiative including stakeholders involved in different European R&D initiatives goes beyond building a knowledge exchange ecosystem to address common topics related to EU-funded projects; it paves new collaboration routes and synergies aiming at driving innovations for the recycling of batteries and the production of raw materials for battery applications from primary and secondary resources available in Europe.
Represented by Julius Ott (industrial engineer with expertise in circular economy at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz) and Pau Sanchis (senior policy officer Eurobat), the FREE4LIB presentation focused mainly on the Digital Battery passport and the relevant legislative situation at European level.
Pau Sanchis referred to the Digital Battery Passport in the context of the new regulation on batteries and waste batteries which entered into force on 17 August 2023. According to this update, thoroughly explained in Art. 77, the battery passport should contain information “relating to the battery model and information specific to individual battery, including resulting from the use of that battery”.
“Batteries should be labelled in order to provide end-users with transparent, reliable and clear information about batteries and waste batteries. That information would enable end-users to make informed decisions when buying and discarding batteries and waste operators to appropriately treat waste batteries. Batteries should be labelled with all the necessary information concerning their main characteristics, including their capacity and the amount of certain hazardous substances present. To ensure the availability of information over time, that information should also be made available by means of QR codes which are printed or engraved on batteries or are affixed to the packaging and to the documents accompanying the battery and should respect the guidelines of ISO/IEC Standard 18004:2015. The QR code should give access to a battery’s product passport. Labels and QR codes should be accessible to persons with disabilities, in accordance with Directive (EU) 2019/882 of the European Parliament and of the Council (17).”
The policy officer emphasised the role of the standardisation process on the Battery Passport, which requires the Commission to adopt implementing decision requesting European Standardisation Organisation to develop standards in support of Ecodesign by December 2023. Standards regarding the technical design and operation of the Battery Passport are expected to complement provisions under Art. 78. According to the timeline presented in the regulation, the first application of the battery passport is expected in 2027. From 18 February 2027 onwards, “all batteries shall be marked with a QR code as described in Part C of Annex VI.
The new regulation aiming at strengthening sustainability rules for batteries and waste batteries will be supported by various secondary legislation pieces which will ensure all the requirements will be developed and implemented effectively. The QR code shall provide access to the following:
- for light means of transport (LMT) batteries, industrial batteries with a capacity greater than 2kWh and electric vehicles batteries, the battery passport in accordance with Article 77.
- for other batteries, the applicable information referred to in paragraphs 1 to 5 of this Article, the declaration of conformity referred to in Article 18, the report referred to in Article 52(3) and the information regarding the prevention and management of waste batteries laid down in Article 74(1), points (a) to (f).
- for starting, light, and ignition (SLI) batteries, the amount of cobalt, lead, lithium or nickel recovered from waste and present in active materials in the battery, calculated in accordance with Article 8.
The policy overview presentation was complemented by the technical presentation undertaken by Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, that will develop a data model of the digital battery passport platform aiming to close the information gap between beginning-of-life (BoL) and end-of-life (EoL) battery lifetime. Relying on knowledge generated previously by Univ. of Graz, the researchers set an objective to define clear user roles and establish access to certain information. Up to this moment, the work carried out has been focusing on data collection and data handling (data points sorting) on the other side. This specific work encountered various challenges, notably the users willingness to share information, process standardisation, the variety of products, the recycling cost/revenue ratio, the dynamic development of the legislative framework, to name a few.
Learn more about the progress on the battery passport on the FREE4LIB website.