Electric cars that do not emit dangerous emissions should slowly replace cars with combustion engines. An environmentally friendly replacement. But what about the production of their batteries? According to the EU, the entire life cycle of these batteries should be environmentally friendly, from production to use to disposal. What measures will be introduced, how will the sale of batteries be regulated and how will this affect their price? Our research fellow Michal Hrubý comments on the topic.
"So far, the main concern and content of the protests against the 'greening' of batteries has been the mining of minerals, the processing activities in the chemical industry and the fear of a possible environmental burden associated with the 'throwing away' of old batteries. Now the entire production process, from material extraction to recycling, will have to be tracked, with a digital passport and information available on each stage of the life cycle. The reuse of recycled materials will play a much bigger role over time,"
"Although there is not a single reference to Asia or China specifically in the European Commission's proposal, the proposal also serves as a defence against cheap batteries on the European market, which of course would meet almost no sustainability criteria. In this case, really cheap does not mean poor quality. We just have to accept the fact that technologically and industrially they are at least ten years ahead of China, for example. Battery prices are lower for many reasons (long-term industrial strategy and targeted support for the battery industry, rights to extract raw materials, raw material processing know-how, economies of scale, etc.). There will be conditions to be met by both domestic and, for example, Chinese batteries sold on the European market. This is not only from an environmental point of view, but also from a social point of view (extraction of raw materials)."
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Expertise: EU green economics, heavy industry, transport