Studies Reveal Automotive Battery Trends and Closed-Loop Recycling

The European Association for Automotive and Industrial Batteries (Eurobat) announced the results of studies on trends in automotive batteries. These underline the particular need for the long term co-existence between all battery technologies for meeting future mobility demands.

A new report also revealed that closed loop collection and recycling for automotive lead-based batteries is a reality. Eurobat President Johann-Friedrich Dempwolff headlined the studies at a briefing in Brussels. The study on trends in automotive batteries highlighted the critical function of all battery technologies and that lead-based batteries, for instance, are essential in conventional combustion engine vehicles and in micro- and mild-hybrid applications. They also function as auxiliary batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Dempwolff said the impact of the studies drive the association´s policy priorities: The threat of substitution of essential metals in lead, lithium, nickel and sodium technologies under EU legislation (REACH authorization or End-of-life Vehicles Directive) would negatively impact Europe’s investment climate as well as hinder the EU’s sustainability and energy security agendas. Moreover, such a lack of policy coherence in Europe would result in a competitive disadvantage for European manufacturers in a globally very competitive market.

Executive Director Alfons Westgeest of Eurobat explained how batteries for energy storage applications are readily available and facilitating the integration of renewable energy in the electricity grid. Renewable energy is a growing source and while the intermittence of wind and solar is a problem, it can be overcome with energy solutions, such as storage batteries. In order to ensure energy security and supply in Europe the association specifically demands to end the definition of storage as “regulated generating asset”, to unlock access to the grid, limit or even eliminate “curtailment” of renewable energy by power utilities, and to ensure that investment in storage will be incentivised. Westgeest stressed the importance of batteries in upcoming micro-grids and rural electrification.

Karsten Kurz, Chairman of Eurobat’s Committee for Environment, summarised the new report on the closed-loop for automotive lead-based batteries. Prepared by the international consulting group IHS, the report confirms that the collection and recycling rate for automotive lead-based batteries stands at 99 per cent and that the closed-loop for these batteries make it one of the most recycled products.

The complete study under:

Photo: Marc Weigert