LEVA-EU wants dedicated light electric vehicle battery category

1143 days ago

3 minutes

Last week, LEVA-EU has organized two online meetings, in which the trade association has informed LEV-businesses on the new battery proposal. The meetings, open to both members and non-members, were aimed at gathering support for the amendments LEVA-EU is to present to the European Parliament and the Council.

The Commission’s proposal to the European Parliament and Council for new battery legislation is no less than an existential threat to most companies in the Light Electric Vehicle (LEV)-sector.

The Commission does propose reasonable measures for batteries in light means of transport. Unfortunately, the Commission’s definition of light means of transport is such that it would only categorize batteries in certain electric cycles as portable batteries subject to reasonable requirements. Only sealed batteries up to 5 kg to be used in vehicles with a seat and a motor of no more than 750 watts (sic) come under the category of portable batteries. All other batteries, i.e. in electric scooters, mobility scooters, e-mopeds, e-motorcycles and other electric vehicles in the L-category would be categorized as electric vehicle batteries.

Electric vehicle batteries are to become subject to very extensive and complicated sustainability requirements supplemented with heavy-duty administration. It is simply impossible for LEV-battery producers to comply with electric vehicle battery regulations. It is also very debatable whether these requirements are necessary and adequate for LEV-batteries.

Furthermore, in most cases the responsibilities will not fall on the company that effectively makes the battery, but on the company that first puts the battery on the market in an EU Member State, i.e. the vehicle producer or importer. Under electric vehicle battery rules, that producer will be charged with duties beyond his competence.

LEVA-EU has found the Commission prepared to reconsider this proposal for batteries for light means of transport. Unfortunately, the proposal is already with the European Parliament and Council. LEVA-EU therefore needs the support of LEV-companies in its campaign for a battery proposal that will not destroy any LEV-companies. Gathering that support was the objective of last week’s information meetings.

LEVA-EU proposes not to categorise LEV-batteries as portable nor as electric vehicle batteries. Instead, the association proposes to create a 4th, new category specifically for LEV-batteries. The category can be very easily defined by linking it to the L-category in technical legislation. Consequently, all batteries in vehicles in the L-category, but also all vehicle excluded from the L-category under Article 2.2 of Regulation 168/2013, could be categorised as LEV-batteries. As a result, a dedicated collection scheme can be organized and accurate targets may be set upon specific research. LEVA-EU believes it is important to have collection separate from portable batteries, because due to specific hazards, LEV-batteries are subject to UN-rules for transport.

The Commission does however insist on additional sustainability requirements for the heavier batteries in the L-category, starting from L3 to L7. LEVA-EU’s proposal is not to impose such requirements immediately but to research what is necessary and feasible and to consult with LEV-businesses on this.

In the meantime, LEVA-EU has initiated in talks with Members of the European Parliament. The association can obviously rely on support from its members for this work but welcomes any additional support from companies that are not members (yet). In the next few weeks, LEVA-EU is going to translate its proposal in concrete amendments that will be presented to the European Parliament and the Council.

To find out more about this issue or to pledge your support for the LEVA-EU campaign, contact Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 9 233 60 05, email annick@leva-eu.com.

Annick Roetynck

Annick is the Manager of LEVA-EU, with decades of experience in two-wheeled and light electric mobility.

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