October 6, 2022: A rulebook that aims to shed light on the true levels of greenhouse gas emissions involved in the battery materials supply chain for electric vehicles — and improve confidence in the environmental credentials of transport systems — has been made public by the Global Battery Alliance.
The move comes as governments scramble to tackle shortages in supplies of key EV battery materials — amid warnings by analysts that more carbon-intensive mining is needed to supply lithium ion battery manufacturers because recycling alone cannot meet demand.
The GBA acknowledges that the battery value chain is “still relatively opaque and associated with issues such as high CO2 emissions and environmental degradation”.
However, the GBA says the release of the first public version of its Greenhouse Gas Rulebook*, compiled with risk management consultancy Sphera, aims to improve the calculation and tracking of the greenhouse gas footprint of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
GBA co-chair and CEO of Germany-based chemicals group BASF, Martin Brudermüller, said the rulebook was needed to foster greater transparency and give industry players the means to “decisively drive down the environmental impact of their processes” globally.
GBA board member Julia Poliscanova, who is also senior director for vehicles and e-mobility at the EU’s clean transport campaign organization, Transport & Environment, said: “Sustainably produced batteries are essential to wean the world off fossil fuels. But regulators and society at large expect to know where the materials come from, how the batteries were made and how many carbon emissions they have released.
“The rulebook will ensure that data is gathered consistently so we can have confidence in the claims made by global manufacturers.”
The GBA, which has its roots as an initiative launched in 2017 by the World Economic Forum, comprises 110 international organizations representing industry, academia and governments dedicated to the sustainable development of battery technologies through responsible trade and supporting global anti-corruption practices.
East Penn Manufacturing president and CEO Chris Pruitt laid bare many of the myths that surround the debate over lead and lithium batteries at the European Lead Battery Conference in France last month.
Pruitt, who is also president of Battery Council International, cited a number of misnomers including the (incorrect) line that electricity that charges battery packs is produced using zero carbon sources.
*The GBA rulebook is online