The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is for the first time promoting the development of a digital product passport for batteries. The battery passport will gather all relevant information along the entire lifecycle from raw materials sourcing to recycling. The grant award under the funding programme for the battery ecosystem totals €8.2 million, which will go to a consortium around Systemiq Deutschland GmbH. The cooperating project partners are Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, Umicore AG & Co. KG, BASF AG, Fraunhofer IPK, acatech e.V., Circulor GmbH, FIWARE Foundation, TWAICE Technologies and VDE Renewables GmbH. The battery passport is the first digital product passport to be introduced at European level. Passports are to be launched for additional products in future in order to guarantee the exchange of data along the supply and value chains as well as compliance with environmental and social standards.
BMWK Parliamentary State Secretary said: “European battery production can only be successful if it focuses on sustainability wherever possible. Sustainable batteries are in turn vital for a successful energy and transport transition oriented to high environmental and social standards. The digital battery passport takes us a great deal closer to these goals: for instance, it gathers important data such as details about the climate footprint or raw materials sourcing that can be simply exchanged among stakeholders. It is also easy to see how batteries can be repaired and recycled.”
The “Battery Pass” project funded by the BMWK is drafting substantive and technical standards for a battery passport along the value chain and applying these in a pilot project. The battery passport supports the sustainable, circular management of traction batteries of electric vehicles by providing a digital infrastructure for the documentation and exchange of fundamental information and technical data. The battery passport is to include, in particular, data that comprehensively records the sustainability and responsibility of the supply chain.
The consortium project thus supports the sustainable transition to low-carbon mobility and energy storage, as well as the reduction of dependence on raw materials, for example by providing data and logistical support for the repurposing and recycling of batteries, and promotes respect for human rights along the value chain. Moreover, the battery passport and the related data infrastructure play a key part in promoting the responsible commercial and economic use of these data.
The consortium partners cover the entire value chain. In addition, institutionalised cooperation with the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) will guarantee global compatibility and successful recycling.
The aim is for the battery passport to meet the requirements of the upcoming EU Batteries Regulation (currently still being agreed in the European trilogue procedure), which will be binding for all new batteries in vehicles, stationary storage facilities and larger industrial batteries in Germany and Europe from 2026.
Among other things, the Regulation provides that the carbon footprint must be displayed for batteries for electric vehicles (traction batteries) and industrial batteries and that it should gradually be reduced. In addition, from 2031, recyclate quotas will apply for large traction and industrial batteries. This means that a certain minimum quantity of recycled lead, cobalt, lithium and nickel will have to be used in the manufacture of new batteries.