The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) hopes to have its battery “passports” up and running at the end of next year. The project, which was started at the World Economic Forum, aims to inform consumers of the environmental impact of electric vehicle batteries.
Electric vehicles are considered critical for tackling climate change, but a 2019 GBA report highlighted how the rapid scale-up of battery production brought challenges of its own.
“The production of a rechargeable battery – from mine to electric vehicle – poses significant social and environmental risks,” said the GBA.
“These range from mineral extraction (child labour, unsafe working conditions, indigenous rights), to production processes (C02 footprint, water use, biodiversity loss, pollution) and significantly impact the overall sustainability of the end product.”
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The GBA – a public-private partnership of 80 businesses, governmental and non-governmental organisations – wants to see more sustainable and responsible attitudes to battery production and recycling. The organisation believes that providing basic information for consumers at the point of sale is a necessary step.
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The Battery Passport would be a digital representation of each battery, conveying information about its manufacturing history and provenance and also details of how it might be used or processed after its life in an electric vehicle.
The aim is to provide transparency in practices and to create a framework for benchmarking batteries. The ultimate goal is to generate a quality seal that will allow for quick and intuitive comparison of batteries.