Tag Archive: batteries

  1. BA and ACT release industry guidance for the UK on lithium fires and road legal e-bikes

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    Source: The Bicycle Association

    The two UK cycle industry trade associations, the Bicycle Association and the Association of Cycle Traders, have teamed up to release industry guidance on lithium battery fires and road legal e-bikes

    Everyone in the cycle industry will be aware of recent reports and headlines about e-bikes fires, some of which have, sadly, had tragic and even fatal consequences.

    Additionally, in recent months a number of fatal collisions have occurred on electric motorcycles which were generally referred to in the media as “e-bikes”.

    These reports risk giving the impression to the public, incorrectly in our view, that all such vehicles are unsafe. This could have serious repercussions, potentially putting at risk the growth potential of e-bikes as a transport and climate solution, and deterring e-bike customers at a time when market conditions are already challenging.

    Now, the two cycle industry trade bodies in the UK, the Bicycle Association and the Association of Cycle Traders, have issued guidance sheets for the industry, aiming to counter the often misleading media headlines.

    The first guidance note summarises statements from fire services and industry experts to clarify the distinction between e-bikes from the reputable industry (which are generally very safe) as opposed to e-bikes, conversion kits, batteries and chargers which may pose significant fire hazard if certain risk factors are present, for example being sourced from overseas via online marketplaces.

    The second guidance note clarifies exactly what is road legal as an e-bike – and makes clear the actual legal status of vehicles which are often incorrectly reported as e-bikes but which are in fact unregistered motorbikes.

    These documents are also available to download from the ACT at: https://cycleassociation.uk/e-bikes

    The BA and ACT hope this guidance will provide authoritative resources for the industry:

    Retailers, and others, can use the document on fire risk to reassure customers and potential customers that by buying through reputable industry channels they will maximise safety
    The fire risk document may also be a useful aid in responding to media enquiries, although companies may prefer to refer these to the national trade associations
    The document about road legal e-bikes will, the BA and ACT hope, provide useful clarity for industry, customers and media, to dispel public confusion about road-legal e-bikes vs other vehicle types.
    Any company in the cycle industry is welcome to use, print out or distribute these documents freely – but the BA and ACT request that they are not amended.

    Peter Eland, Technical and Policy Director at the Bicycle Association, said:

    “We hope these resources will set the record straight on the very safe products which our industry provides. Being clear and consistent about battery fire risk factors, and the law around e-bikes, is essential to get the message across.”

    Jonathan Harrison from the Association of Cycle Traders said:

    “There is a perception that has been allowed to develop that e-bikes are dangerous and it is simply not true. Let’s help educate owners to avoid e-bikes, batteries and chargers that do not meet UK safety standards, and boost awareness of the real safety benefits of buying from a specialist retailer.”

    This joint initiative with the ACT is the latest development in the Bicycle Association’s work on these issues. To date this has included:

    Instigating a cross-Government roundtable in March, bringing together Department for Transport, DEFRA, ROSPA, the Association for British Insurers and Active Travel England.
    Assisting the Department for Transport in developing guidance, which should be published shortly, for users, for premises managers and for public transport operators.
    Working closely with the Office for Product Safety and Standards and their researchers, ahead of recommendations being made for future regulation. Representatives from OPSS and their researchers have attended a number of Bicycle Association technical meetings, to take industry input.
    The BA has also engaged with the charity Electrical Safety First, which has been raising awareness of the fires issue and advocating urgent Government action.
    The BA has also worked extensively in conjunction with the DfT-backed Cycle Rail Working Group on continued e-bike access to trains and stations.
    The BA has made publicly available resources for the industry to assist with safe sourcing of batteries, their correct transport and storage. Also available on that link are press releases and statements making clear the industry position.
    The BA is piloting a battery collection and recycling scheme which will take waste batteries from retailers at no cost for safe and proper disposal.
    Finally, the BA has engaged regularly with the mainstream media in an effort to add the industry voice on the fire issue, and also to clarify what is a road legal e-bike and what is not.
    Further joint industry initiatives are under development and will be announced shortly, say the two trade associations.

  2. Europe is in danger of losing the battery race

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    Source: ECA

    The EU risks falling behind in its bid to become a global battery powerhouse, according to a report published by the European Court of Auditors.

    It is true that the EU’s industrial policy on batteries has been promoted effectively in recent years. But access to raw materials remains a major roadblock, along with rising costs and fierce global competition. The EU’s efforts to grow its battery production capacity might therefore not be enough to meet the increasing demand, meaning it may fall short of its 2035 zero-emission goal, the auditors warn.

    Nearly 1 in every 5 new cars registered in the EU in 2021 had an electrical plug, and the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is to be banned by 2035. This has made batteries a strategic imperative for the EU. But Europe’s battery industry is lagging behind its global competitors, particularly China, which accounts for 76 % of global production capacity. To jump-start the EU’s bid to become a global battery powerhouse, the European Commission published a strategic action plan on batteries in 2018. It has largely delivered the plan’s key instruments to support the sector, including strategic leadership, laws and funding.

    The EU must not end up in the same dependent position with batteries as it did with natural gas; its economic sovereignty is at stake”, said Annemie Turtelboom, the ECA member who led the audit. By planning to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, the EU is betting heavily on batteries. But it might have the weaker hand in terms of access to raw materials, attractiveness to investors and costs.

    Between 2014 and 2020, the battery industry received at least €1.7 billion in EU grants and loan guarantees, on top of state aid of up to €6 billion authorised between 2019 and 2021, mainly in Germany, France and Italy. But the auditors found that the European Commission has no overview of all public support for the industry, which hinders adequate coordination and targeting.

    The EU’s battery production capacity is developing rapidly, with the potential to grow from 44 GWh in 2020 to 1 200 GWh by 2030. However, this projection is by no means guaranteed and could be jeopardised by geopolitical and economic factors.

    Firstly, battery manufacturers may abandon the EU in favour of other regions, not least the US, which offers them massive incentives. Unlike the EU, the US directly subsidises the production of minerals and batteries, as well as the purchase of electric vehicles made in the US using American components.

    Secondly, the EU depends heavily on imports of raw materials, mainly from a few countries with which it lacks trade agreements: 87% of its raw lithium imports come from Australia, 80 % of manganese imports from South Africa and Gabon, 68% of raw cobalt imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and 40% of raw natural graphite imports from China. Although Europe has several mining reserves, it takes at least 12-16 years from their discovery until production, making it impossible to respond quickly to increases in demand. However, current contractual arrangements typically secure the supply of raw materials for only 2 or 3 years of forward production. In March this year, the European Commission proposed a Critical Raw Materials Act to address this situation, the auditors note.

    Thirdly, the competitiveness of EU battery production may be jeopardised by rising raw material and energy prices. At the end of 2020, the cost of a battery pack (€200 per kWh) was more than double the amount planned. In the last two years alone, nickel has risen in price by over 70% and lithium by 870%.

    The auditors also criticise the lack of quantified, time-bound targets. Some 30 million zero-emission vehicles are expected on European roads by 2030 and, potentially, nearly all new vehicles registered from 2035 onwards will be battery-powered. However, the EU’s current strategy does not assess the capacity of its battery industry to meet this demand.

    Overall, the auditors warn of two potential worst-case scenarios should the EU battery production capacity fail to grow as projected. The first is that the EU could be forced to delay its ban on vehicles with combustion engines beyond 2035, thus failing to meet its carbon-neutrality objectives. The second is that it could be forced to rely heavily on non-EU batteries and electric vehicles, to the detriment of the European automotive industry and workforce, in order to achieve a zero-emission fleet by 2035.

    Background information

    In April 2018, the European Commission published its action plan on batteries, with the overall aim of making Europe a global leader in sustainable battery production and use. It covers the different stages of the value chain and sets out goals and tools for achieving them.

    The action plan identifies six objectives: (1) securing access to raw materials, (2) supporting European battery cell manufacturing at scale, (3) supporting EU research and innovation on advanced and disruptive technologies, (4) strengthening the EU workforce and skills, (5) supporting the sustainability of the EU battery cell manufacturing industry, (6) ensuring consistency with the broader enabling and regulatory framework.

    Special report 15/2023, “The EU’s industrial policy on batteries: new strategic impetus needed”, is available on the ECA website.

    In 2021, the ECA published a report on the European infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, which concluded that the EU is still a long way from reaching its Green Deal target of 1 million charging points by 2025, and that it lacks an overall strategic roadmap for electro-mobility.

  3. Research: Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility and Less Mining

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    Source: Climate + Community

    Electrified transportation demands lithium in record-high quantities, prompting expanded mining activities and environmental degradation. New research explores if it is possible to limit this sequence of events.

    A new report from T. Riofrancos, et al., in collaboration with the Climate + Community Project and the University of California, Davis explores the impact of increased lithium mining in relation to increased electric vehicle use.

    “A crucial aspect of electrified transportation is new demand for metals, and specifically the most non-replaceable metal for EV batteries – lithium. If today’s demand for EVs is projected to 2050, the lithium requirements of the US EV market alone in 2050 would require triple the amount of lithium currently produced for the entire global market. This boom in demand would be met by the expansion of mining. 

    “This report finds that the United States can achieve zero emissions transportation while limiting the amount of lithium mining necessary by reducing the car dependence of the transportation system, decreasing the size of electric vehicle batteries, and maximizing lithium recycling. Reordering the US transportation system through policy and spending shifts to prioritize public and active transit while reducing car dependency can also ensure transit equity, protect ecosystems, respect Indigenous rights, and meet the demands of global justice.”

    The recently released report is an incredible technical insight into one of the core arguments against the implementation of electrified transportation. Of course, it is encouraging to see LEVs, which contain significantly smaller batteries, cited as a key tool for combating the issue of high lithium demand. Access the full report, here.

  4. Greenway completes move into new Taizhou HQ

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    The LEVA-EU member, who produces battery packs for use in LEV projects, has moved into a new state-of-the-art headquarters.

    The new property, based in Taizhou, China, has a footprint of 23,000 square meters, with a total construction area of 100,000 square meters and a workshop area of approximately 64,000 square meters. Alongside existing key staff, the HQ will contain Greenways’ new R&D and Innovation centre, ensuring the company’s lithium-ion battery products are of the highest quality.

  5. Preliminary agreement on new EU Batteries Regulation

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    On 9 December, Council, Parliament and Commission have reached an agreement on the draft text for a new EU Regulation on Batteries. Although LEVA-EU has won a few battles, it is too early to claim victory yet.

    The new EU law will have a very considerable impact on batteries for light, electric vehicles (LEVs) and on the LEV-sector as a whole. The agreed compromise is not available yet and still needs official approval from Parliament and Council, but this is what we know so far:

    • Thanks in part to the work of LEVA-EU, the text holds a separate category for what is called batteries for light means of transport (LMT). With reservation, we quote the definition of that category as follows: “LMT battery means any battery that is sealed and weighs below or equal to 25 kg, designed to provide electric power for the traction to wheeled vehicles that can be powered by the electric motor alone or by a combination of motor and human power including type-approved vehicle of category L in the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 168/2013, and that is not an electric vehicle battery.
    • LEV-batteries of more than 25 kg will come under the category of electric vehicle batteries.
    • The law will have rates for the collection of end-of-life LMT-batteries. Partly thanks to LEVA-EU, this rate will be calculated based on batteries “available for collection” (AfC), rather than batteries “put on market“.
    • The new legislation will introduce extended and rigorous sustainability requirements. LEVA-EU has consistently and repeatedly protested these sustainability requirements for LMT-batteries. They would be imposed on LMT-batteries without the Commission having first conducted an impact assessment. Seemingly, the three authorities have agreed to maintain the 2 kW limit for some of these sustainability requirements. Until the compromise text is available, we are unable to determine for which requirements the limit has been retained.

    All in all, LEVA-EU’s position has been broadly observed. Let’s hope the devil will not be in the details. Next year, the text will be submitted to the Plenary of the European Parliament and to the 27 Member States for final approval.

  6. Tiler – inductive e-bike charging without intrusive infrastructure

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, M. Sutton

    LEVA-EU member Tiler showcases their e-bike charging unit at Move 2022, with industry interest for this novel charging solution continuing to grow

    For those unfamiliar, Tiler offers a new patented e-Bike charging infrastructure technology that relies simply on a kickstand and a tile built flush into the floor. The cable-free system utilizes inductive charging, with energy transfer taking place between the embedded infrastructure in the floor and a unique kickstand that is apparently compatible with around 80% of the market’s e-Bikes.

    This unique solution combats a growing issue within the LEV sphere – obtrusive charging infrastructure that removes valuable street space and may create a trip hazard. A single in-ground eBike charging tile measures 300mm x 500mm x 80mm, while the platform iteration comes in at 1748mm x 600mm and 94mm deep.

    Read the full write-up by Cycling Industry News here.

  7. Battery Experts Forum and Eurobike – parallel events create new synergies

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    A double power pack: The two leading events in the industries of battery technology and bike mobility are providing a unique opportunity for a cross-disciplinary transfer of knowledge and new contacts. The Battery Experts Forum, Europe’s largest conference on the subject of battery technology, is moving into the time slot from 12 to 14 July 2022 for its 17th edition and will be a direct neighbour of the leading trade fair Eurobike (13 to 17 July), also taking place at the Messe Frankfurt site.

    “The triumphant progress of the e-bike is closely linked with that of global battery technology. By coinciding with the prestigious Battery Experts Forum the new Eurobike will be promoting inspiration on both sides as it brings more international specialists into contact with each other and creates a greater momentum at the same place and same time,” points out fairnamic Managing Director Stefan Reisinger.

    The Battery Experts Forum, Europe’s largest conference for the battery industry, celebrated its premiere at the Frankfurt am Main exhibition site with a sell-out event in 2019. With the current expansion, the BMZ Group is responding to the high demand and has transformed the new location into a gathering for the battery technology industry as a whole over the three days. CEO and founder Sven Bauer explains: “In 2022 we are hoping for further growth of the Battery Experts Forum and are rapidly becoming the world’s largest battery conference. In conjunction with the parallel Eurobike show, we are creating new synergies and boosting exchange with other sectors of industry.” From 12 to 14 July (open daily from 9 am to 5 pm) the event with some 100 specialist talks on seven stages in the conference centre will additionally be occupying Hall 6 at the fair grounds and will expand its exhibition area to more than 10,000 m². The BMZ Group is expecting 160 exhibitors and around 5,000 participants from more than 50 nations. Further information is available at www.battery-experts-forum.com.

    The 30th edition of Eurobike runs from Wednesday 13 July, to Sunday 17 July 2022, from 09:00 to 18:00 each day. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be open to the general public. The leading trade fair is using the entire western section of the Messe Frankfurt site to create a perfect circuit covering more than 100,000 m² of hall space that will showcase the bicycle in all its many facets. Included in this tour are Halls 8 and 9 as well as the new Halls 11 and 12, both of which have two levels. More than 1,400 exhibitors and some 100,000 participants are expected from all over the world. For more information, please visit: www.eurobike.com.

  8. Greenway Technology and LG Energy form long-term cell supply cooperation

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    In the final quarter of 2021, Guangdong Greenway Technology Co., Ltd (Greenway Technology), a leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for micro-mobility and energy storage applications, signed a contract with LG Energy Solution, Ltd. (LG Energy) to invest in a new production line for battery cells from LG Energy in Nanjing.

    Shenzhen, October 2021, General Manager John Zeng from Greenway Technology and Ray Kim from LG Chem China Investment Co.,Ltd. after signing the new cell supply cooperation.

    LG Energy, one of the world market leaders in battery products and energy solutions, guarantees Greenway Technology deliveries of lithium-ion cells of automotive quality with price advantages from 2023 to 2028. With this agreement, Greenway Technology continues to expand into the growing market of light electromobility.

    This strategic supply agreement will help Greenway Technology achieve its margin and cost targets to provide attractive battery systems to the electric bike, motorcycle, and energy storage markets. Greenway Technology focuses on products of high quality, making LG Energy the ideal partner due to its many years of experience as a cell manufacturer.

    The subject of this long-term partnership is 21700 cylindrical NMC cells with 5000mAh of the latest generation, an excellent fit for application in light electric vehicles (LEVs) such as pedelecs, e-bikes, and e-scooters.

    “Greenway Technology is proud to enter into a new stage of collaboration with LG Energy,” said John Zeng, General Manager of Greenway Technology. “We build on our strong relationship with LG Energy to supply the market with the best quality products to provide sustainable and safe energy solutions for the world’s big challenges in mobility and emission.”

    Greenway Technology is one of the market leaders developing and manufacturing innovative lithium-ion battery systems for the micro-mobility industry, drive system suppliers, and vehicle manufacturers in Europe and Asia.

    LG Energy was established in 2020, as a subsidiary of LG Chem. According to SNE Research, LG Energy is the world’s second-largest supplier of EV batteries, with a market share of 23.7% in 2021. LG Energy sets a strong focus on industry-leading performance cells for electric mobility vehicle producers, and is currently a cell supplier for Tesla.

  9. Like LEVA-EU, JRC advocates new, separate battery category for Light Electric Vehicles

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    JRC has completed its study for the European Commission on alternative collection targets for Light Means of Transport (LMT) batteries. JRC concludes that the best way forward is to introduce a new separate category for LMT batteries. That is exactly the solution, which LEVA-EU has been advocating since the Commission has published the new battery Regulation proposal. The JRC report is therefore a major boost for LEVA-EU’s lobby campaign towards the European Parliament and Council.

    In its original proposal, the European Commission suggested to include batteries for so-called Light Means of Transport (LMT) in the portable battery category. The proposal defined LMT-batteries as sealed, up to 5 kg and for use in vehicles with a seat and a motor of no more than 750 Watts. All other batteries, such as those in electric scooters, mobility scooters, e-mopeds, e-motorcycles and other electric vehicles in the L-category would be categorized as electric vehicle batteries.

    Hugely problematic proposal

    LEVA-EU immediately pointed out to the Commission that this definition would create huge problems for light, electric vehicles (LEVs). The main issue is the fact that the electric vehicle battery category is subject to information and sustainability requirements, which are simply not feasible for LEV-manufacturers. Another issue was the requirement for a seat, pushing all e-scooters into the electric vehicle battery category. Also, the limit of 750 Watts was meaningless because the meaning of Watts remained unspecified.

    On top of these issues, the Commission was also confronted with questions from the Member States on the effect of the proposal on LMT. The Commission acknowledged the issues and asked the Joint Research Centre (JRC) for research into how to set a collection target for LMT batteries. JRC is the Commission’s science and knowledge service, which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.

    Unknown and uninteded consequence

    In its research and through consultation with stakeholders, among which LEVA-EU, JRC easily established that the definition of LMT batteries as proposed by the Commission was flawed. The definition was found to be “troublesome in its reference to motors ‘of less than 750 watts’. It is found to be problematic in referencing to ‘on which travellers are seated’ with a significant amount of smaller LMT products without a seat. Both types of parameters effectively discriminate between products with comparable battery characteristics.

    However, there were deeper issues with the Commission’s proposal to classify LMT-batteries as portable batteries. The proposal holds collection targets for portable batteries based on the so-called Put on Market (PoM) parameter. The JRC-study was exactly meant to determine whether that method and the targets set for portable batteries could be simply extended to LMT-batteries or whether alternative collection methods and targets for LMT-batteries were needed.  In its research on collection targets for LMT batteries, JRC stumbled upon an “unknown and unintended consequence of the originally proposed target basis”.  JRC’s conclusion on the proposed PoM-method and resulting targets for LMT-batteries was: “(…) due to increasing sales of rechargeable and LMT batteries, plus potentially more durable primary batteries as well, there will be a growing discrepancy between the placed on the market (POM) volumes and the waste volume becoming available later. This means that the currently proposed POM based collection target, based on 3 preceding years of sales, will not be ‘steadily ambitious’, but relatively more challenging for the years 2025 and 2030 when the newer target levels are respectively set at 65% and 70%. Reversely, in later years it will become less challenging.

    Growing discrepancy

    The following example illustrates JRC’s findings. According to some prognoses, European electric bike sales could reach 17 million in 2030. In that year, the PoM collection rate will go to 70% based on the 3 preceding years. Hypothetical sales of 13.25 million in 2027, 14.5 million in 2028 and 15.75 million in 2029 would result in 10.15 million e-bike batteries targeted for collection in 2030. Let’s assume an average lifetime for e-bike batteries of 6 years. That means that the batteries becoming available for collection will effectively be put on the market in 2024. Sales in 2020 were estimated at 4.5 million. It is therefore totally unlikely that in 2024 sufficient sales will be achieved to reach a collection target of 10.15 million batteries in 2030. Even if sales reach 10 million in 2024, it is impossible for 100% of those  batteries to make it to the collection points.

    To overcome this problem, JRC proposes what it calls a “future-proof solution”. That includes the creation of a separate LMT battery category, next to industrial, automotive, electric vehicle and portable battery categories. Secondly, the basis for the collection target for this new category should be changed from Put on Market (PoM) to Available for Collection (AfC).

    All batteries from non-type-approved light, electric vehicles as well as from L1 to L7 vehicles would come under the new category. This proposal is almost fully in line with what LEVA-EU has asked for from the start. Nevertheless, JRC proposes to include all LEV-batteries but only up to 25 kg. It is unclear how JRC has determined this 25 kg limit, which would still send heavier L-category vehicle batteries, for instance on motorcycles, tricycles or quadrimobiles into the electric vehicle battery category.


    JRC quotes several benefits in creating a separate LMT battery category. First of all, it would allow the inclusion of heavier batteries, “that would otherwise not fit in the collection infrastructure for portable batteries.” Secondly, JRC states that 70% of AfC by 2025 and 75% by 2030 will be a much more realistic target for LMT waste batteries. Changing to AfC will require a revision clause in the Commission’s proposal to adapt the common methodology parameters and potentially also the target level specifically for the new category. LEVA-EU believes that the AfC calculation methodology must be adapted to the lifespan of the various vehicles in the category. The lifespan of an e-scooter for instance is different from the lifespan of an electric bike. It will also require specific consideration for batteries which are not returned through this collection infrastructure. There will undoubtedly be some hoarding to be taken into account, as well as batteries which will be treated for re-use for instance. Furthermore, all vehicles excluded from the L-category are subject to the WEEE-Directive. It is quite likely that some batteries will not be removed from end-of-life vehicles.

    Another benefit of JRC’s proposal is that the creation of a separate LMT battery category will allow for faster introduction of more collection points and will improve the handling and the safety attention for end-of-life batteries. And last but not least, JRC points out that the creation of a separate LMT category offers an additional possibility to adapt other than collection requirements, such as sustainability, safety and information requirements, “to the distinctive character of LMT batteries.” In doing so, JRC agrees with LEVA-EU’s request not to simply subject LEV batteries to the particularly extensive and strict requirements for electric vehicle batteries. Instead, the EU institutions should consult with the LEV-sector as to appropriate and adequate requirements. Ideally, the Commission should order new research into such requirements.

    Confusion in Parliament

    In the meantime, even before this JRC report was published, 3 parliamentary committees had started working on the original Commission proposal. Normally, only 1 parliamentary committee is responsible for a file. In this case, the work was entrusted to IMCO, ITRE and ENVI while TRAN was allowed to issue an opinion. Since, the IMCO and TRAN Rapporteurs and the ITRE committee have effectively proposed amendments. As a result, a particularly confusing situation has now arisen for LMT batteries, with diverging amendments for the same articles in the proposal. LEVA-EU will resume lobbying after the summer break to try to align all relevant parliamentary committees with JRC’s recommendations for LMT batteries.

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