Press Release

EU battery plan an opportunity for Europe to do batteries cleaner and better

May 17, 2018

The strategic action plan on batteries launched today by the European Commission is key to decarbonising transport in the EU and – rightly – puts sustainably and responsibly sourced batteries at the heart of that transition, Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The environmental NGO added that swiftly implementing this strategy will help Europe benefit from a market worth up to €250 billion a year that so far has been left to manufacturers in China and other regions.

The need for a “sustainable battery supply chain” to underpin a clean and safe energy revolution has been prioritised under the Commission plan. However, manufacturers seeking to invest in the European supply chain need to be confident about the size of the electric vehicle market – which can only be provided by ambitious sales targets for electric vehicles for 2025 (part of the post-2020 Car CO2 standards currently being discussed) that would push carmakers to produce and sell EVs in Europe in the next decade.

Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles and air quality manager at T&E, said: “The battery strategy is welcome but we also have to remember gigafactories don’t get built on promises alone. EU lawmakers have an opportunity to provide real investment certainty by introducing a target for EV sales underpinned by a bonus-malus scheme. If we get the CO2 regulation for cars right, the EU will be in a good position to reap the benefits of the battery revolution and compete globally by focusing on high-quality, safe and green batteries. That means they should be based on responsibly sourced materials and reused and recycled.”