Alliance releases policy framework on EV battery recycling

WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Automotive Innovation on Wednesday released an industry-created policy framework on reusing, repurposing and recycling the lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles.

The alliance, which represents most major automakers in the U.S. as well as some suppliers and tech companies, said the plan will support and sustain a domestic circular economy for EV batteries, create manufacturing jobs, boost U.S. energy security and reduce reliance on critical mineral imports.

The policy framework comes as the industry races toward an all-EV future, with investments in electrification reaching $515 billion by the end of the decade, according to the alliance.

The shift to electrification means there will be a greater demand for EV batteries and a need for domestically sourced critical minerals to support the supply chain and bolster U.S. competitiveness.

“This transformation is well underway but requires a significant ramp up of EV battery manufacturing,” John Bozzella, CEO of the alliance, said in a statement. “How do we keep the flow of battery components moving and available in a way that is not just sustainable but creates jobs and lessens our collective reliance on foreign minerals?”

Bozzella continued: “That’s the purpose of our new policy framework. Anticipating the coming challenges and supply chain demands, the auto industry came together with a policy framework under which manufacturers, suppliers and policymakers would reuse, repurpose and recycle EV batteries and put in place the conditions for a comprehensive approach to realize a net-zero carbon transportation future.”

Specifically, the policy framework assigns responsibility for EVs that are still in service and the battery is within warranty, for EVs that are still in service and the battery is outside of warranty, and for EVs that have reached their end of life.

The framework also calls for necessary “safety net” legislation and regulation, such as requiring automakers to be responsible during the lithium ion battery warranty period for transferring end-of-life EV batteries to a qualified facility to be refurbished, repurposed or recycled.

The alliance also suggests applying penalties to responsible parties if they do not follow steps outlined in the framework for properly reusing, repurposing or recycling the batteries.

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