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China to update EV battery recycling regulation

In a press conference in Beijing in China the deputy Minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Xin Guobin, announced that the previously “Interim Administrative Measures for the Recycling and Utilization of Power Batteries of New Energy Vehicles” which was introduced in 2018 will be updated and upgraded to a regulation.

The measures have been instrumental for the build-out of recycling capacity in China, encouraging reuse and recycling companies to develop their operations and invest in advanced technology in automation and recovery systems. Important components have been regulation of how EV producers should establish their battery recycling chains, a battery passport and traceability system as well as which recovery rates recycling companies should obtain to be included in the industry’s white list,

In the announcement Xin emphasised three areas which are expected to be improved:

Implement standards and certification for second use of batteries and to further accelerate the development of the market. This was already announced in March this year. when also initiatives on insurance and financing of second life batteries was included. MIIT wants to see an increase in both supply of batteries and capacity to process them to high technical standards.

Further strengthening of the recovery rate of lithium, most likely to more than 90%. Today the requirement is 85% and MIIT is concerned about the fact that there are companies which only reach 70%-80%. In the new regulation higher requirements are expected together with a stronger enforcement to be able to eliminate inferior recycling operations.

Lastly there will be more support to technical innovation in both reuse and recycling with increased industrial-academic coopoeration. One area MIIT wants to see more of is non-destructive testing of decommissioned batteries and high-value second use. The ministry also want to publish a catalog of advanced and applicable technologies and equipment as well as promoting these technologies.

A timeline was not given for when the new regulation could be announced and entered into force.

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