After more than two years of negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU have successfully reached an agreement on the Batteries Regulation, marking a significant milestone in the regulatory framework for the battery value chain. The vote at the European Parliament in July confirmed the widespread consensus among EU policymakers on this comprehensive legislation that will regulate batteries for at least the next decade. This legislation has already entered into force, and the industry is now awaiting the various pieces of secondary legislation included in the proposal. This secondary legislation will provide the necessary details by specifying technical standards, testing procedures, and specific compliance requirements, and it will be implemented over the course of the next decade.
Batteries, as energy-delivering products, have environmental impacts throughout their life cycle, from raw material extraction to manufacturing, use, and disposal. The Batteries Regulation will help mitigate these impacts by establishing standards for responsible sourcing, energy efficiency, and recycling. As stated when the proposal was introduced by the European Commission, this legislation will enable the EU to produce batteries with the highest environmental standards in the world.
Simultaneously, the new legislative framework will foster innovation in battery technology by setting performance standards and encouraging research and development to meet these standards. In this regard, our Free4Lib project will play a significant role. This EU-funded research initiative focuses on 21 technologies that cover the entire Li-Ion battery value chain. Our primary goal is to develop innovative technologies, currently at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 5-6, to establish sustainable and efficient methods for recycling End-of-Life Li-Ion Batteries (EOL LIBs). The innovative recycling methods we are designing will significantly enhance material recovery, thereby contributing to increased availability of secondary resources at the European Union level.