The mission of RECHARGE
RECHARGE (a non profit organization) has been founded to promote the value of rechargeable batteries and represent the interests of all its members in the chain of battery life.
RECHARGE’s unique membership is covering all aspects of the rechargeable battery life cycle. RECHARGE is following the continuously changing regulatory and legislative environment for rechargeable batteries and is a recognized expertise centre for advanced portable and industrial rechargeable battery technologies.
The membership of RECHARGE includes suppliers of primary and secondary raw materials to the battery industry, rechargeable battery manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, logistic partners and battery recyclers.
RECHARGE’s mission is to promote Advanced Rechargeable Batteries as a technology that will contribute to a Sustainable Society, a Resource and Energy Efficient policy and to the achievement of a Green Circular Economy.
Advanced Rechargeable Batteries can be recharged and recycled. Recharging these batteries reduces the use of raw materials and recycling them brings secondary materials in the EU economy.
RECHARGE is anticipating an emerging increase for rechargeable batteries in the electricmobility and power tools industry, in the communications world, and in new renewable energy storage applications.
Special attention is given to European Directives, Regulations, EU Commission Decisions, as well as to UN Regulations, such as the Battery Directive, the End-of-Life Vehicle Directive, REACH, CLP, RoHS, WEEE, Waste Framework Directive, Transport of Dangerous Goods, Raw Materials Initiative, GHS, Eco-Design, UN Test Procedures…
Additional focus is given on all safety aspects related to storage, transport, packaging, and to the health aspects of those handling these type of batteries.
RECHARGE cooperates in Europe with several other associations, and internationally with associations in Japan, USA, Korea, and China.
RECHARGE activities in the EU Policy Context towards a Sustainable Society
Considering the development of the European policies regarding resources and energy efficiency at the horizon 2020 and further on, RECHARGE’s Members shall contribute to the development of these objectives by manufacturing batteries, placing on the market equipment containing rechargeable batteries and by collecting and recycling those batteries at end of life to produce secondary materials that can be re-used in the European Industry.
The Increasing Role of Electrical Energy Storage Systems such as Advanced Rechargeable Batteries in our Society is observed in three major market areas:
Modern society relies on cordless electric energy sources such as rechargeable batteries. The development of mobile communication increases the opportunities for personal and business exchanges. It also decreases barriers between individuals and nations.
2. Green mobility
In the changing world of individual and mass transport, the recent progresses made on rechargeable batteries performances open opportunities for transport with lower emissions and increased environmental performances (reduction in noise emissions and in the use of fossil fuels).
3. Electrical Energy Storage Systems
The development of renewable energy production technologies request the buffering of off-peak production of energy and the supply of electricity in low production periods. It requires also a permanent interface between the production site and the electricity grid that can be offered, among others, by rechargeable batteries.
This increasing role of advanced batteries in our society can only be secured if RECHARGE’s members are active in the various segments of the EU policy:
1. The renewable energy policy
Rechargeable batteries are operated in an environmentally sound manner when the electricity used for the recharge is produced by renewable sources.
2. The Raw Materials Initiative
The recycling of materials used in batteries is a critical element of the life cycle of a rechargeable battery. The recovery of materials is operated by more energy efficient processes than the production of primary materials.
3. The Resource Efficiency policy
The Resource Efficiency policy should not only consider the optimization of the recovery of valuable resources in Europe but it should also integrate the future of the European Industry. Indeed the recovery of raw materials in an efficient manner in Europe should in priority feed the European Manufacturing Industry. In this respect the EU legislation should consider that the EU Industry cannot be placed in a less competitive position than its partners at a global scale.
4. The Electric Mobility policy
Advanced Rechargeable Batteries are key technologies for the acceptance by end users of silent and emission free vehicles. When produced by renewable energy sources, electricity is an efficient mean to power transports. The definition of a European Strategy supporting the development of new battery technologies, an electric vehicle industry and an appropriate charging infrastructure will be key for the future of European Transport means.
5. Reduction and control of C02 and other emissions
As the European Union has agreed to achieve a reduction of EU greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions of at least 20% by 2020 (based on 1990) and the average CO2 level of cars put on the market in 2020 should reach 95g/CO2, this will have certainly an impact on the development of sustainable mobility, and is directly linked with the above Electric Mobility policy.
There is a need to close the gap between the current situation and the goals of a circular and green economy and making the link with industrial development in the EU Union whilst creating additional employment.
It is RECHARGE’s Members objective to contribute to this EU policy framework which secures the development of the EU rechargeable battery industry and of the EU long term sustainability policy.
The Market for Advanced Rechargeable Batteries
There will be significant market increase for advanced portable and industrial rechargeable batteries:
- On a short term basis (2015-2020) in the Electrical & Electronics Equipment market
- On a longer term basis (2015 – 2025) in the E-mobility and Energy Storage market
- Diversification of applications will extend the collection issue
- Need to establish a better control of the shipment of lithium batteries
– EU companies assembling packs/modules should be aware of the strict shipping and packaging rules for Lithium Batteries.
- The Battery Industry needs to anticipate:
– Overseas shipment of large quantity of batteries by not-informed actors
– Handling by not-informed commercial intermediates
– Storage of large quantities of industrial batteries at intermediate facilities
– Return of industrial batteries in non-conform status (not of the design type)
– Transport of Lithium Batteries (New vs Damaged vs Waste)
– Handling of mixed waste batteries & waste lithium batteries
– Technical and economic uncertainty of the recycling stage
The role of Recycling
In its ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe’, the European Commission has put the following milestone: ‘By 2020, waste is managed as a resource’.
Recycling and re-use have to become attractive options for the public and private sectors due to a variety of professional collection schemes in the Member States, and the development of markets for secondary raw materials, including the critical ones (lithium, cobalt, rare earth metals).
When high quality recycling is ensured throughout Europe in a sustainable way, illegal shipments of waste should be eliminated, and waste landfilling abandoned.
To accomplish that milestone, some targeted incentives should be given to the sector to improve the use of secondary raw materials, to re-use waste, and to improve recycling technologies.
In this sense, the Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) of the EU Commission, is the right way forward to help European industries, and research & innovation to engage in long-term planning and investments in the area of recycling. The challenge here is to keep the materials in Europe.
To increase the efficiency of materials collection for recycling, a number of regulatory instruments are already applicable, such as the Eco-design Directive, the Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles, the Directive on Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment, the Batteries Directive and the Waste Framework Directive. The interface between these legislations is a challenge. This is analyzed separately by RECHARGE.
Although the legislation has a very positive impact on recycling in Europe, it should be avoided that the same legislation would reduce innovation: what is currently missing is some kind of harmonization amongst these legal instruments with regard to definitions and objectives.
This would make the whole issue more transparent, clear, and sustainable in the long term for all the economic operators involved. For example, the economic impact of the new EU Chemical Policies on business is quite a challenge.