New EU regulatory framework for batteries: Setting sustainability requirements

Briefing 08-06-2023

Given the important role they play in the roll-out of zero-emission mobility and the storage of intermittent renewable energy, batteries are a crucial element in the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. On 10 December 2020, the European Commission presented a proposal designed to modernise the EU's regulatory framework for batteries in order to secure the sustainability and competitiveness of battery value chains. The proposal seeks to introduce mandatory requirements on sustainability (such as carbon footprint rules, minimum recycled content, performance and durability criteria), safety and labelling for the marketing and putting into service of batteries, and requirements for end-of-life management. It also includes due diligence obligations for economic operators as regards the sourcing of raw materials. The European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the file on 9 December 2022. The text agreed in trilogue negotiations amends the original Commission proposal substantially, notably by including batteries for light means of transport, such as e-bikes and e-scooters, within the regulation's scope, and by strengthening due diligence requirements. It awaits formal adoption by Parliament, with a plenary vote scheduled during the June 2023 session. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.