India’s Lithium Battery Recycling Gets Boost with New Rules

Highlights :

  • The environment ministry has announced new Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022, establishing responsibilities of producers, dealers, consumers, and entities involved in the collection, segregation, transportation, refurbishment, and recycling of all types of batteries, including rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.
  • The rules aim to ensure the safe disposal of hazardous battery wastes and to promote the circular economy through recycling.
India’s Lithium Battery Recycling Gets Boost with New Rules Battery Waste Management Rules 2023 Laid Down

In a big boost to the nascent lithium battery recycling industry in India, the environment ministry has announced new Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022, establishing responsibilities of producers, dealers, consumers, and entities involved in the collection, segregation, transportation, refurbishment, and recycling of all types of batteries, including rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The rules aim to ensure the safe disposal of hazardous battery wastes and to promote the circular economy through recycling.

Mandate for Producers

The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) idea, under which producers, including importers of batteries, would gather and recycle/refurbish discarded batteries, is the foundation around which the ministry has established the new regulations. They will also be in-charge of creating new batteries from waste materials that have been salvaged.

The rules will be welcomed by firms like Attero, Batx technologies, Lohum that have made big bets on recycling Lithium-ion batteries.

Recycling used batteries includes recycling lead, nickel, lithium, nickel, cobalt, plastics, rubber, glass, and other materials. The new regulations state that pre-consumer fast-pack batteries as well as waste batteries, their components, and consumables cannot be dangerous. A battery manufacturer, trader, or supplier is required by EPR to recycle used batteries rather than throw them away. The yearly return can be filed by the Pollution Control Board. Additionally, information about the Registered Recognition Recycler, who can provide the EPR certificate, will be gathered.

The new regulations categorise the minimal amount of recycled material that must be used in a battery’s total dry weight while also listing the specific battery types that are to be labeled waste (in percentage). EPR requires the delivery of certificates attesting to the batteries’ waste status and their ability to be recycled or refurbished. The units recycling the used batteries must then present a waste battery processing certificate. The Central Pollution Control Board will keep an eye on every step of the recycling and refurbishing process, from the inspection of used batteries. The Appellate Authority will be a Joint Secretary or a comparable person in the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. EPR forbids the combustion and dumping of used batteries in landfills.

To fulfill their separate EPR duties, producers may contract with or grant permission to any other organisation to collect, recycle, or refurbish used batteries. The most recent regulations allow producers and recyclers/refurbishers to exchange EPR certificates to fulfill producers’ duties through a system and centralised web portal. The government supports new businesses and entrepreneurship in the gathering, recycling, and refurbishing of used batteries. Environmental compensation will be enforced for failure to meet EPR targets based on the Polluter Pays Principle. Uncollected and non-recycled waste batteries shall be gathered, repaired, or recycled with the help of the money raised under the compensation.

To attract new technology and investment to the battery recycling and refurbishment industry, the ministry wants to mandate a minimum percentage for material recovery from used batteries under the new regulations. This will open up new business prospects.

Industry Reacts 

Kalyan C Korimerla, Managing Director of Etrio Automobiles said of these norms, “As an EV OEM committed to increasing EV adoption and safety, we at Etrio welcome the recently-notified regulatory amendments and battery norms suggested by the Ministry of Road Transport, Government of India. The aditional safety requirements for battery cells, battery packs, BMS, etc., when implemented, can greatly help the OEMs win the confidence of EV end-users by rolling out robust and safe vehicles. Safety standards such as these are extremely important in not only saving lives and minimizing fleet asset damage, but also play a pivotal role in making the public feel safe in switching to electric vehicles.”

“The new battery safety norms are a positive step in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done, ” concludes Varun Goenka, CEO & Co-Founder, Chargeup, while saying, “As the world moves towards a greener tomorrow, there are many changes that are taking place. One of them is the new battery safety norms for electric vehicles from October 1 in India. The new safety regulation is a set of guidelines that all battery manufacturers must follow in order to ensure the safety of their products. These guidelines include things like proper labelling of battery types, clear instructions on how to safely use and store batteries, and regular safety inspections.
The new tests mandate thermal runaway prevention and thermal management through fins which Chargeup for example already has on its batteries. The lacuna is to prevent grade B and Grade C cells that are being imported to lower costs but endangering safety. Thus, a cell level test should also be added and ensure only A grade through certified imports.
The new norms also mandate that all batteries used in electric vehicles must be tested to international standards, and all electric vehicles must be equipped with a battery management system. This system will monitor the condition of the battery and will provide information to the user if there is any problem with the battery. The battery management system will also help to ensure that the battery is properly charged and discharged. This will help to prolong the life of the battery and will make it more durable.
However, it is important to note that these norms are only a minimum standard, and there is still room for improvement. For example, the norms do not cover recycled or second-hand batteries, which could still pose a risk. In addition, the battery industry will need to continue to invest in research and development in order to improve battery technology. This is essential if we want to see electric vehicles become mainstream.”

“Batteries used in EVs have an incredible second life where they can be used for low-power long-energy-duration applications in the energy storage market. This policy can help provide more economical battery backup solutions. It may also reduce rooftop solar storage costs. Over 80% of the parts in Li-ion batteries can be removed and used again,” commenting on these norms, Pranjal Pande, Director of Statcon Energiaa, said, “Setting standards that require a minimum amount of material recovery from used batteries will advance recycling and refurbishment technology. It will also attract investment and open up new business prospects. We should be wary of its strain on producers and importers, though. Since many businesses import it from other nations, it is difficult for them to collect battery waste and get it recycled effectively and timely. I hope this legislation can be simplified and implemented quickly and that more Indian businesses will find it profitable to enter.”

AMO Mobility’s Founder & MD, Sushant Kumar shared his thoughts too, “The new norms will accelerate the pace of inducing safety features in battery, chargers and the vehicle itself. These features will help to protect the vehicle from EMI & EMC effect. Along with the above benefits feature like soft start charging function, time based charge cut-off, protection against input supply and establishing communication within battery and charger will help in understand the vehicle behaviour and the riding pattern.”

Further he added, “Smart BMS will help the manufacturer to narrow down the problems and come up with the right set of solution for such problems. It will help and protect the vehicle from the problems of over voltage, over- charge, over- discharge, over-temperature, over- current, short circuit.

It also helps the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to record the crucial data of vehicle. This accumulated data universe helps the OEM to pin point the problem, to analyse if there is a trend in the data, to figure out issues and finally to seek the solution and improve the product.”

Okinawa Autotech’s Founder & MD, Jeetender Sharma stated, “We welcome the government’s decision to bring industry-wide amendments to battery safety norms. This will support in upgrading the battery packs in terms of safety through an advanced thermal management system & real-time monitoring of battery packs’ health and performance through CAN based battery management system (BMS).”

Saera Electric Auto’s MD, Nitin Kapoor commenting on these upcoming battery recycling norm, “The government’s mandate to follow AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev.2 standards for different electric vehicle (EV) categories comes at a time when there have been several reports of fire incidents in EVs. To further ascertain the safety of electric vehicles, the government has also formed a dedicated committee constituting of experts and scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, and other institutions. This clearly showcases the government’s commitment to encouraging EV players and boosts the penetration of e-mobility in the country.”

Ankit Mittal, Co-founder and CEO of Sheru stated his views, “India’s EV revolution has been gathering pace with new vehicle launches across every vehicle category and with participation from both existing and new OEMs. Customers need a variety of options to choose from to make the transition to EVs. We need to sustain this momentum and expand the choices available to them. However, there have been concerns regarding the safety of the vehicles, with recent incidents even leading to the government intervening and coming out with stricter safety requirements. At Sheru, we recognize the crucial role that batteries play in the EV ecosystem and work with battery manufacturers and OEMs to leverage software to improve battery capability. The battery is the most important component of an EV and software helps in managing it better. Gathering data from batteries provides insights into performance and helps in enhancing EVs. It also aids from a safety standpoint through constant updates regarding the mechanical and electrical aspects of the battery. Knowing about battery issues in advance helps in averting them before they arise, and assures customers about their safety. India’s EV revolution needs world-class batteries to fuel it, and we are providing the software capabilities for those batteries to reach their full potential.”


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