France is eager “to get results quickly” on the EU’s proposed battery regulation and would even like the implementation schedule to be brought forward by a year, which would take it to 2024, France’s ecological transition ministry told EURACTIV France.
The EU’s 27 environment ministers met on Thursday (10 June) to take stock of progress on the EU’s proposed regulation on batteries and battery waste – a proposal that was presented by the European Commission in December last year as part of its circular economy action plan.
The Commission wants to ensure that batteries can be repurposed, remanufactured or recycled at the end of their life. Demand for batteries is set to skyrocket 14-fold with 30 million electric cars estimated to be on the road in Europe by 2030.
France is eager to speed up things and is “in favour of tightening the text to get results quickly,” the ecological transition ministry told EURACTIV France.
To this end, French Ecological Transition Minister Barbara Pompili would like the implementation schedule to be brought forward by about a year, which would take it to 2024.
An while Paris approves all of the proposal’s objectives, the Ecological Ministry calls for “the text to set minimum standards but not to prevent States that want to go further from moving forward.”
“We have technical services that are up to the task and highly motivated companies,” the ministry added.
France also raised attention about used batteries from lighter devices like bicycles or electric scooters, saying the issue needs to be “very closely monitored”. The ministry estimates that a third of these batteries are processed in a “pirate” way and end up in “illegal processing channels or trafficking”.
Batteries and waste management is a “concrete and operational public policy issue that responds to the overall cross-cutting objective of the EU’s strategic autonomy: have more reuse of batteries to create a recycling industry, and less dependence on external supply,” the ministry concluded.
While France backs the regulation, this is not the case for all EU counties. Last March, some of them warned that it would be impossible to meet the deadlines set by the Commission. They also argued that the new legislation would be costly for battery manufacturers, who would have to comply with the new European standards.
[Edited by Frédéric Simon]