Explore new e-bike battery regulations in the EU and New York

Explore new e-bike battery regulations in the EU and New York

Recently, the EU and New York have introduced new regulations to deal with the waste battery recycling and battery safety issues of e-bikes.

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    EU Parliament adopts new battery regulation to promote battery circular economy

    In July this year, the European Commission adopted a new regulation in favour of the sustainable development of batteries and used batteries.

    In the current market situation of large-scale development and application of electric products, the number of batteries produced has also risen massively.

    Generally speaking, the service life of a lithium battery is 3-4 years.

    If the use of frequency will accelerate battery loss, the replacement frequency is high.

    The annual global market for used batteries is immeasurable. How to deal with used batteries has become a big problem.

    Improper handling of used batteries will not only have a bad impact on the environment, but also lax recycling procedures will directly contribute to the development of the second-hand battery market, and the circulation of poor-quality batteries will aggravate safety hazards.

    Considering the large-scale development of electric vehicles, the demand for batteries is expected to increase more than tenfold by 2030, so Europe has revised its battery rules and on July 10 adopted new regulations on batteries and waste batteries.

    The new regulation promotes a circular economy by regulating the entire battery life cycle, and as such, it sets end-of-life requirements, including collection targets and obligations, material recovery targets, and expanded producer responsibility.

    EU Parliament adopts new battery regulation

    The following are specific end-of-life battery recycling requirements:

    ① The new regulation sets collection targets for producers of used portable batteries (63% by the end of 2027 and 73% by the end of 2030) and introduces a specific collection target for used batteries for light transport. (51% by the end of 2030)

    ② The regulations set a target of 50% lithium recovery from waste batteries by the end of 2027 and 80% by the end of 2031, which can be modified by authorised acts in accordance with market, technological developments, e-bike laws and lithium availability.

    ③ The regulations set mandatory minimum levels of recycled content for industrial batteries, SLI batteries and electric vehicle batteries.

    Cobalt content was initially set at 16%, lead at 85%, lithium at 6% and nickel at 6%. Batteries must contain recycled content documentation.

    ④ The recycling efficiency target for Ni-Cd batteries is set at 80% by the end of 2025, and 50% for other waste batteries by the end of 2025.

    The new regulations impose stricter requirements for removability and replaceability.

    By 2027, products containing portable batteries must be designed to ensure that end users can easily remove and replace batteries at any time during the life of the product, and must be accompanied by instructions and safety information on the use, removal and replacement of batteries.

    This information must be permanently available online. There is also a new requirement for batteries to have a service life of at least five years as spare parts.

    The regulations impose strict limits on hazardous substances such as mercury, cadmium, and lead, and introduce labelling and information requirements that require all batteries to be labeled with information such as the manufacturer’s logo, battery type and certain traceability information, place of manufacture, capacity, chemical composition, and certain key raw materials, as well as an electronic “battery passport” and QR code.

    Labelling requirements will be implemented in 2026 and QR codes in 2027.

    Electronic battery passport and QR code

    Reduce the environmental and social impacts of batteries throughout their life cycle.

    All economic operators placing batteries on the EU market, with the exception of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will be required to develop and implement a Due Diligence Policy to address the social and environmental risks associated with the sourcing, processing and trading of raw and secondary materials.

    The new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council will apply to all batteries, including all used portable batteries, electric vehicle batteries, industrial batteries, starter, flash and ignition (SLI) batteries (mainly used in vehicles and machinery), and light vehicle battery traffic (e.g. e-bikes, S-Pedelec, e-scooters).

    The new regulations, which will replace the current 2006 Batteries Directive, will come into force six months after publication and the current battery regime will not be repealed until 24 months after publication, so batteries can still be placed on the market under the regime until then.

    New York gets $25 million for e-bike charging stations

    On June 25, New York City announced that it will receive a $25 million federal emergency grant to build e-bike charging stations across the city, with charging facilities expected to be built at dozens of locations.

    This plan was influenced by frequent fires in New York City, and another recent time when an e-bike battery caught fire due to an e-bike battery, a fire at a store selling e-bikes in Manhattan killed four people, including three residents and a firefighter.

    In the aftermath, the New York City government called on the public to report unsafe e-bike stores, and fire officials issued warnings to at least 10 e-bike stores, accusing them of mishandling electric bike batteries.

    New York City officials said they had previously fined the store for charging, but during a recent inspection, inspectors failed to check whether the store was selling repackaged batteries.

    New York gets $25 million for e-bike charging stations

    Because e-bike batteries can be defective at the factory, they can also overheat if not properly charged.

    According to official statistics, there have been more than 100 e-bike-related fires in New York City this year, resulting in 13 deaths, more than doubling last year’s total.

    New York City has issued nearly 500 e-bike citations, which can result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

    The grant was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    Two New York state legislators also attended the press conference and said they will continue to find solutions for e-bike battery safety.

    The mayor says the program is primarily for the city’s delivery riders, who have a huge need for charging, and that improving infrastructure will help provide a safer and more efficient way for them to charge.

    “This means residents no longer have to charge in their own apartments, which can be a very dangerous practice, especially if you typically charge at night. “

    Under the new guidelines, fire officials will be instructed to respond to complaints about e-bike batteries within 12 hours, instead of the previous three days.

    e-bike battery fire

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams wants to increase the number of chargers, so e-bike owners don’t have to charge their vehicles in their apartments.

    In March of this year, Mayor Eric Adams had already announced that the city was working on building charging stations.

    The grant will fund the construction of 170 charging units in approximately 50 locations.

    At a press conference, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said charging stations offer “new hope” of preventing those fires caused by poor-quality batteries and chargers.

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she and Schumer are working on legislation to establish battery safety standards. “If passed,” she said, “there will be fewer improperly manufactured batteries on the market.”

    Picture of Chocolatezhu
    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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