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July 27, 2023

Blog

Deciphering the new EU Digital Battery Passport regulation

Paul Vogt

VP Partner Strategies

Here’s what you need to know about the new labeling requirements outlined in the EU Digital Battery Passport regulation.   

 In June, the European Parliament approved new rules for the design, production, and waste management of all types of batteries sold in the European Union. The new rules mandate the use of Digital Battery Passports for all industrial batteries above 2kWh. Starting in 2024, manufacturers in Europe will have to disclose the carbon footprints of their batteries. 

The law’s key components include a compulsory carbon footprint declaration and labels for certain vehicles; the use of rechargeable industrial batteries with a capacity above 2kWh; and a digital battery passport for LMT (light means of transport) batteries, industrial batteries with a capacity above 2 kWh, and electric vehicle (EV) batteries. 

The new regulation factors in both recent technological developments and future challenges associated with industrial batteries and covers the entire battery lifecycle—from design to end-of-life. It also outlines stricter waste collection targets; minimum levels of materials recovered from waste batteries; and minimum levels of recycled content from manufacturing and consumer waste for use in new batteries. 

New labeling requirements 

All new industrial batteries will have to include physical labels that link those batteries to their Digital Battery Passports. Populated with dynamic data, the passports must be stored in the cloud for easy access by authorized users. To meet this requirement, companies will need cloud-based solutions that can generate the battery passports and print systems to mark or label every battery with its unique digital passport.  

That means it’s now up to the manufacturer to trace batteries from the source right through to reuse and recycling. Supply chain partners need to be able to tap into this traceability network, which is effectively a series of web pages, and act accordingly. Every product must have its own webpage for unique tracking, and each page contains battery information, product name, manufacturing site, which of its components are recyclable and current battery health data.  

And once an industrial battery reaches end-of-life, supply chain partners must trace the product back to the manufacturer and follow that manufacturer's instructions for recycling. 

A critical link in the data chain 

Loftware’s cloud-based software marks batteries with information (e.g., instructions, warning images, and icons) and uses two barcodes. One barcode is the serial number and the second is the QR code, which links directly to the Digital Battery Passport webpage. Loftware is the key technology for labeling and marking items with the right data and so, in this sense, is the link in the chain between the data and the product itself.  

Traceability software provider Kezzler captures battery information at the point of manufacture and also as the product is scanned through the supply chain. The cloud-based application holds all the supply chain information. Kezzler shares the battery’s unique, serialized ID with all authorized supply chain partners.  

A digital battery passport, or some form of data-carrying Digital Product Passport, will collect the key events/data across the battery’s entire life. Such a passport will enable the fulfillment of compliance demands. But the passport can contribute much more than that,” writes Kezzler’s Simen Kjellberg in Charging forward with the EV battery revolution 

Globally, regulatory motions, business goals, and consumer demand are converging around ESG initiatives,” Kjellberg continues. “As these expectations grow, the impetus for greater sustainability and circularity grows. What the EU manages to do in this sphere is a leading indicator and potential model for transforming the battery supply chain. 

Standardizing and centralizing processes 

To better inform consumers, batteries will carry labels and QR codes with information related to their capacity, performance, durability, and chemical composition, as well as the “separate collection” symbol, the European Parliament points out.  

LMT batteries, industrial batteries with a capacity above 2 kWh, and EV batteries will also be required to have a digital battery passport including information on the battery model as well as information specific to the individual battery and its use,” it adds. 

With Loftware, companies can utilize a standardized and centralized software platform for all their labeling, marking, and coding requirements. According to Josh Roffman, Loftware SVP Marketing and Product Management, “these advanced solutions offer integration capabilities to manage output for all their print devices from thermal and color laser printing to marking and coding devices, visual inspection systems, serialization solutions, and more.” 

Gaining momentum  

Right now, the battery labeling and digital passport initiative is primarily being driven by the EU, but the momentum is also picking up in California and various other U.S. states. The whole issue of traceability for recycling and remanufacturing is a hot topic across the industry.  

Companies in the supply chain have been working on this for many years, but now that there's a hard date for compliance, it’s time to think more seriously about the steps that need to be taken to comply with this and other battery labeling laws.  

One final point to consider is that the new EU law is applicable to a range of batteries, not solely limited to EV batteries. However, EV batteries are particularly relevant right now as their recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing are widely discussed topics. With this in mind, it is crucial the industry finds effective recycling methods to ensure the environmental benefits of EVs are not undermined. 

To learn more about creating a roadmap for sustainable labeling in the cloud, download our recent whitepaper today! 

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