ECOS – Environmental Coalition on Standards, EEB – European Environmental Bureau, Transport & Environment, and DUH – Deutsche Umwelthilfe call on EU ministers to show the same ambition as the position on the Batteries Regulation approved by the European Parliament last week.
Four NGOs, including some of the largest environmental organisations in Europe, ask ministers to set strict rules for the sourcing, design, reuse, and recycling of batteries.
With electric vehicle (EV) production booming, the EU Batteries Regulation must include robust carbon footprint, reuse and recycling requirements to be applicable as soon as possible, ensuring batteries and EVs further improve their climate advantage over combustion engine cars and preventing landfilling at end-of-life, NGOs warn.
Ministers from the 27 EU member states will agree on a revised Batteries Regulation on Thursday 17 March at an Environmental Council, taking place in Brussels . The Regulation will govern the entire battery product life-cycle, from design to end-of-life, covering all types of batteries, from electric vehicles to e-bikes and scooters to those used in household products.
The new legislation comes at a watershed moment in the transition to electrified mobility and mass-market production of electric vehicles. In Europe alone, at least 38 battery gigafactories are planned or announced, with enough capacity to power around 8 million electric cars .
Drafts seen by NGOs suggest that ministers are likely to water down the proposal put forward by the European Commission, and take a much less ambitious stand than the text approved by the European Parliament on 10 March. 
Main NGO requests (as compared to the compromise text under negotiation):
Implement requirements for supply chain due diligence checks and removability of portable batteries as soon as possible – avoiding unnecessary delays
Due diligence provisions must apply to all batteries. Producers of batteries for increasingly popular smaller electric vehicles must not be excluded from being obliged to ensure their supply chains do not contribute to human rights abuses or environmental harm.
Due diligence requirements should be extended to bauxite, iron and copper, which are all key battery metals that have been linked to environmental and human rights abuses.
Batteries must be designed to be replaceable and repairable. Users should be able to replace batteries in consumer electronics and light means of transport themselves. Independent operators should be enabled to repair batteries in light means of transport, industrial robots and power tools. This includes making spare parts available to them, and preventing software locks.
Promote reuse of batteries for EVs and light means of transport by an obligation to check for the possibility of reuse and by creating a conducive framework for reuse companies. In particular, the ‘producer’ obligations for reuse companies should be limited and they should be exempted from EPR charges.
Ensure new battery recycling targets (including higher recovery targets for lithium) apply as soon as possible – not in 7 years. According to the current compromise text, new recycling targets are delayed by three years compared to the Commission’s proposal, delaying an important supply of critical battery metals including cobalt and nickel. But with EVs sales on the rise, there is no time to waste.
Source : https://reurl.cc/kle2MK