On May 24, 2023, EPA released a guidance memorandum addressing the hazardous waste status of lithium ion batteries under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). EPA released the guidance to “both remove uncertainties for the states and industry about the regulatory status of these materials,” and to ensure that lithium ion batteries are properly handled when they are recycled.Continue Reading EPA Clarifies Hazardous Waste Requirements Applicable to Lithium Ion Batteries
The European Parliament and Council are about to adopt an agreed text on a Regulation on Batteries and Waste Batteries (“Sustainable Batteries Regulation” or “SBR”) that will impose a broad range of requirements on the safety, sustainability and circularity of batteries, including batteries that are part of devices (e.g., laptop batteries), industrial batteries (e.g., large stationary storage applications) and means of transport batteries (e.g., car batteries), as well as extended producer responsibility obligations (including waste take back) on producers marketing them. The SBR is likely to be published in the official journal of the EU within the next couple of months and will repeal and replace the existing EU Directive on Batteries and Waste Batteries.
This post outlines the specific removability and replaceability requirements that the SBR will impose on portable batteries and light means of transport (“LMT”) batteries (e.g., batteries for electric bicycles) marketed in the EU/EEA as of around September/October 2026. The new requirements will oblige producers of appliances to introduce design changes to their appliances and the batteries they incorporate. Moreover, clarifying the details of such requirements is likely to create much controversy and debate among the European Commission, Member States and other stakeholders within the next two years. In effect, the SBR leaves it to the Commission to adopt guidelines interpreting the different removability and replaceability requirements.
The post also briefly mentions the political compromise that the European Parliament and Council reached on the removability and replaceability of electrical vehicle batteries and “starting, lighting and ignition” (“SLI”) batteries, and its emphasis on ensuring that such batteries be removable and replaceable by “independent professionals” (and not just authorized dealers).Continue Reading New Removability and Replaceability Requirements for Batteries Marketed in the European Union
On October 5, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced its plan to streamline the typical review process for Mixed Metal Oxides (“MMOs”), including certain cathode active materials, which are key components in electric vehicles’ lithium-ion batteries, as well as clean energy generation and storage technology, including wind turbines and solar cells. MMOs can also be used in semiconductors.
As we have written about previously, increasing the domestic supply of EVs and semiconductors, and expanding the country’s clean energy capacity are among the core policy objectives of the Biden Administration.Continue Reading EPA to Streamline the Review Process for Certain EV and Clean Energy Chemicals
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”) features $260 billion in clean-energy tax credits. While the IRA extends many existing clean-energy tax credits, like the energy production tax credit and investment tax credit for wind and solar, it also establishes new credits, including credits for advanced manufacturing and hydrogen production. Additionally, beginning in 2025, taxpayers with zero emissions facilities would have added flexibility to choose between using a new technology neutral production tax credit or investment tax credit.Continue Reading Expansion and Long-Term Stability of Climate and Energy Tax Credits
The transportation sector constitutes the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) takes significant steps to transition the U.S. vehicle fleet to zero-emissions technology. The proposed legislation takes a multi-faceted approach in doing so: it not only provides incentives for increased consumer use of electric vehicles, it also promotes domestic zero-emissions vehicle manufacturing. Continue Reading Inflation Reduction Act Shows Strong Support for the Electric Vehicle Sector and Domestic Supply Chains
The European Parliament and Council are in the last stages of the legislative procedure to adopt a Regulation on Batteries and Waste Batteries (“Sustainable Batteries Regulation”), which the European Commission proposed in December 2020. Among other many requirements, the proposed Sustainable Batteries Regulation will require manufacturers to ensure that the portable batteries contained in their electronic devices are removable and replaceable. These requirements will apply to a large variety of electronic devices, including household appliances, IT, telecommunications equipment, and medical devices. They are part of a broader sustainable products package that includes other legislative proposals, such as the Commission proposal for a Regulation on Ecodesign Requirements for Sustainable Products and an upcoming legislative initiative on the right to repair, and will require manufacturers to redesign the electronic devices that they market in the European Union and European Economic Area (“EU/EEA”).Continue Reading Upcoming EU Removability and Replaceability Requirements on Portable Batteries
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued three requests for information regarding recycling issues, a first step towards distributing funds and carrying out mandates contained in the last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The programs for which EPA is requesting information are primarily directed toward improving recycling of…
This blog is the nineteenth in our series, “The ABC’s of the AJP.”
Increasing grid-scale energy storage in the United States is a critical part of infrastructure development. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) would place investments in energy storage at the center of his goals of achieving a net-zero electricity sector by 2035 and making the electricity grid more resilient. These investments would also support the Administration’s efforts to secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for high-capacity batteries and the critical minerals that go into them.
Continue Reading Scaling Energy Storage Solutions and Securing Supply Chains
This blog is the second in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”
The American Jobs Plan recognizes that a net-zero economy will require significant innovation in and deployment of energy storage technology. For example, the President’s efforts to decarbonize the power sector by 2035 will include increased reliance of renewable energy sources, which will benefit greatly from utility-scale battery systems. The push to electrify the transportation sector also depends on cost-competitive batteries powering vehicles. Here, we present three ways in which AJP seeks to advance battery technology and adoption.
Continue Reading Building Back Better with Batteries
In December 2020, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new Regulation on Batteries and Waste Batteries (see Covington’s webinar on the proposal). The proposed Regulation seeks to achieve the objectives set out in the European Green Deal and subsequent strategies, such as the transition to a carbon neutral and circular economy and the growth of renewable energies and clean mobility. The European Parliament and Council are currently considering the proposal for its adoption through the ordinary legislative procedure, which is not likely to be completed before mid-2022.
Continue Reading Upcoming EU Environmental and Human Rights Supply Chain Due Diligence Requirements for Rechargeable Industrial Batteries and E-Vehicle Batteries