Legislation on batteries make sustainable electric cars
Reference: The European Commission
Reference: The European Commission
Contract period: 2018-19 (Viegand Maagøe + Vito + Fraunhofer)
How is it possible to prevent batteries used in electric cars and the electricity network from harming the environment? With a varied legislation.
Viegand Maagøe has assisted the European Commission in developing the foundation for a possible regulation in the near future that will secure electric cars as a sustainable alternative to gas and diesel cars through legislation on their batteries.
How we completed the assignment batteries electric cars
It is the aim of the European Commission to ensure a more sustainable transport sector in Europe by means of electric vehicles. Together with Vito and Fraunhofer ISI, Viegand Maagøe was asked to execute in-depth analyses of the environmental aspects of batteries for electric cars and for support of the electricity grid.
We analyzed the supply chain of different raw materials which are critical to battery production. An important aspect was to consider whether the metals are being extracted from mines and processed or traded in high-risk areas.
We also studied as to how EU could demand reductions of damages of the local environment around the mining and productional areas while avoiding child labour, bad working environment, and other negative factors regarding social conditions. Additionally, we investigated whether EU considered the materials as limited resources and to what extent the batteries’ materials could be recycled batteries electric cars.
Viegand Maagøe’s in-depth knowledge regarding EU regulations was used to evaluate which statutory requirements that:
- secured sustainable extraction of the materials (due diligence procedure)
- eliminated possible environmental impacts and risks
- were relevant for the batteries’ performance, capacity, efficiency, and durability.
Aside from studying concrete statutory requirements, Viegand Maagøe analyzed how these requirements will impact the environmental and social challenges that are linked to battery production and its raw materials. Viegand Maagøe also assisted the European Commission in executing a traditional impact assessment regarding the proposed requirements.
An essential part of the project has been the cooperation across national borders and meetings with stakeholders from the industry, NGOs, and Member States.
The project forms the basis of a possible regulation which will ensure that:
- the drastic growth of electric vehicles will be a sustainable alternative to gas and diesel cars
- batteries can be recycled at a maintained material quality, and resources will be kept within EU
- batteries will not result in escalating conflicts in exposed countries, such as DR Congo.
- 22 GWh corresponding to 700,000 tons CO2
- € 1 b. for the consumers
Source: scenario models by Viegand Maagøe
The consumers’ savings are a result of the batteries’ prolonged lifetime and higher efficiency. In 2040, it is expected to have reached savings of 870 GWh in total which corresponds to 350,000 tons CO2.
Hence, a legislation can generate a sense of security among EU citizens who desire to buy electric cars that will not cause excessive environmental damage. Additionally, it will contribute to expand the storage of electricity from wind turbines and solar cells. It is important to increase the share of renewable electricity as the electricity is often not utilized while being produced.
Many materials in the electric vehicle batteries originate from countries outside of EU. Ensuring the possibility of reutilization within EU will benefit the European battery and electric vehicle industries and increase the possibility to produce independently of China and other major battery suppliers.