New EU battery regulation could drive up production costs

The new regulation on batteries and waste batteries, adopted by the European Parliament today, could make the cost of production of batteries, including batteries for electric vehicles, more expensive, according to the ECR Group. The European Conservatives and Reformists had insisted in amendments, which were however rejected by the majority, that the affordability of batteries for end users should also be taken into consideration.

Speaking after the announcement of results, ECR Shadow Rapporteur Alexandr Vondra said:

“The new regulation comes with a myriad of new rules. This will already be highly problematic in the near future as the demand of batteries will increase exponentially, especially in the transport sector. The logic behind this is does the math without considering the circumstances of ordinary consumers.

“I would have liked to see more flexibility from the European Parliament here. Especially now, as the price of fossil fuels will continue to rise, the price and availability of batteries is a key factor in ending our dependency on forms of energy that make Europe vulnerable to blackmail from supplier countries like Russia.”

Besides that, Mr Vondra is also of the opinion that the proposed text, due to the numerous possibilities for the Commission to adopt implementing and delegated acts, undermines legal certainty. “Especially in a market where a lot of innovation is needed legal certainty crucial”, he said.

For Vondra, the extension of due diligence provisions to the entire value chain is another problematic point. “It would be desirable if we could trace the batteries from the extraction of the raw material made to use them to their recycling. But unfortunately we are not there yet. The EU is fooling itself here. This regulation is definitely coming at the wrong time on several levels.”

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