On 11th October the EU Commission hosted a summit in Brussels involving European industry, Member States and financial institutions to identify and explore opportunities to complete the gaps in the battery value chain in Europe and discuss actions needed for the EU to remain competitive in this area. The meeting focused on the race to decarbonise transportation and the role of advanced lithium battery manufacturing and new technologies to meet the demand for clean energy.
The ILA agrees there is an urgent need for a clear European framework that supports innovation in battery technology. But this must recognise and support the future potential for all battery types, including lead batteries:
Ensure Technology Neutrality. Whilst the Commission is addressing the transition to zero-emissions vehicles, the reality is that internal combustion and electric engines are expected to co-exist for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we must remain technology neutral and encourage the continued development of all battery chemistries through appropriate financial and legislative stimulus.
Meet Existing Demand. Sixty percent of all vehicles sold in Europe in 2016 incorporated stop-start, lead battery technology. Lead batteries are also present in micro-hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles. In fact, virtually every vehicle on the road in Europe today relies on a lead battery, and this demand will continue into the foreseeable future for transportation and critical industrial applications.
Further Reduce Emissions. Lead batteries also play a vital, cost-effective and proven role in further reducing CO2 emissions in all types of vehicles, including start-stop and micro-hybrids.
Highest Recycling Rate. Lead batteries are the most recycled consumer product on the planet, with a 99% collection and recycling rate in Europe. In contrast, there is presently no commercially available process to economically recycle the majority of lithium batteries.
Support Environmental Sustainability. By design, lead batteries are easily dismantled and can be (and are) infinitely – and safely – recycled, reducing reliance on the use of primary materials. Currently, 80% of a new lead battery is comprised of recycled materials. This is a stark contrast to many of the newer battery technologies that rely heavily on substances that are considered critical raw materials.
Continue Global Success. The EU is already a world leader in lead battery innovation, manufacturing and recycling, employing over 25,000 people.
For these reasons, the ILA urges the European Commission to support the innovative future of lead batteries, a trusted, essential and irreplaceable link in meeting Europe’s changing energy needs.