Battery Passports Charge The EU’s Shift To Sustainable EV Value Chains

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Battery Passports Charge The EU’s Shift To Sustainable EV Value Chains

With battery passports – containing up to 90 mandatory data points – expected to be required from 2026, how can your firm prepare the groundwork for adoption and compliance?

The EU Batteries Regulation – which will replace the EU Battery Directive – was approved by the European Parliament in July 2023. Aiming to make batteries more sustainable throughout their life cycles, one of the core aspects of this regulation is the requirement to produce battery passports for all new batteries on the EU market. The European Commission defines a battery passport as “a structured collection of product related data with predefined scope and agreed data ownership and access rights conveyed through a unique identifier”. To prepare for adoption, the European Council is shaping the Batteries Regulation in consultation with several industry-led consortia, tasked with developing practical implementation guidance and ironing out the finer details.

The first priority is to identify potential data weaknesses in the supply chain. Automotive manufacturers responsible for completing and maintaining a battery passport need to improve visibility beyond their Tier 1 suppliers. While the regulation is EU-centric, its impact will be felt beyond EU borders due to the globally integrated nature of the EV battery supply chain. With this in mind, firms should engage with battery processing and extraction partners as early as possible to inform them of upcoming data and compliance requirements.

Digital functionality to trace products and materials throughout the value chain and create a single source of product information will become instrumental for firms preparing battery passports. Presently, a number of software vendors in this space are involved in industry initiatives to develop guidelines for passport requirements. For instance, Circulor has been named as the technology implementor within the Battery Pass consortium, meaning that it will lead the demonstrator work package.

The 2023 Verdantix global corporate survey found that 33% of firms ranked “access to expertise internally” as the top sustainability performance challenge. Given the complexities of regulatory compliance and some of the unanswered questions surrounding the battery regulation, many organizations will need to seek external expertise. For example, RCS Global – an advisory firm owned by SLR Consulting – offers a battery supply chain mapping and audit service and, as a member of the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), was involved in designing a battery passport proof of concept that was launched at the 2023 World Economic Forum.

Naturally, firms will face numerous teething issues. However, battery passports are creating an effective blueprint for other industries to facilitate better traceability of materials and the transition to a circular business model.

For more details on the EU Batteries Regulation, check out this blog post, which highlights some of the key recommendations of the Battery Pass consortium, and this report, which provides insight into battery passports in the electric vehicle value chain.

Luke Gowland

Industry Analyst

Luke is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. His current research agenda focusses on emerging technologies and trends in the ESG software space. Prior to joining Verdantix, Luke worked as an analyst at GlobalData where he gained experience in ESG and key business technologies. Luke holds an MSc in Sustainability and Management from the University of Bath.