With the surge in demand for electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries, a pressing need to address the environmental footprint of such batteries across their entire lifecycle becomes increasingly important. This is why the digital battery passport was introduced, a concept poised to redefine the sustainability narrative in the battery industry.
The inception of the digital battery passport dates back to 2019, courtesy of the Global Battery Alliance (GBA). This collaborative initiative, uniting governments, companies, and non-governmental organisations, envisions a future where batteries contribute to sustainable and circular value chains globally. At its core, the digital battery passport represents a transparent framework, meticulously tracking a battery’s journey from its manufacturing origin to its eventual disposal. This holistic approach encapsulates vital information about a battery’s composition, origin, performance, and environmental impact.
In a bid to propel sustainable practices, the European Union (EU) emerged as a frontrunner in advocating for the integration of digital battery passports. Set to come into effect in 2027, the EU’s regulation mandates the use of these passports for all batteries sold within its borders. This regulatory stride not only underscores a commitment to transparency but also sets a precedent for the global battery industry.
It was announced in July 2023 that Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) parent company, Tata Motors, will fund the development of a £4 billion EV battery gigafactory in the UK. Based in Somerset, the new gigafactory will be one of the biggest in Europe and have the capacity to manufacture a significant quantity of EV batteries for generations to come. Focussing on EV batteries for JRL vehicles first, the gigafactory will then open up its production capabilities to other automotive manufacturers, with production aimed to begin in 2026. The gigafactory will be the first of its kind outside of India and is thought to be a major step for the UK automotive sector and our journey to net zero.
The UK government has welcomed the investment, saying it will help to create jobs and boost the economy. It has also pledged to provide targeted support for the project. The hope is that through sustained, high volumes of production, the gigafactory will help to create a more sustainable and secure future for the UK transport sector as the number of EVs being purchased continues to rise. It’s thought that the UK is currently lagging behind some of its European rivals in terms of battery manufacturing capacity, so this investment from Tata Motors may prove to level the playing field.
Lithium-ion batteries have become an integral part of our lives, powering our smartphones, laptops, electric vehicles, and even renewable energy systems. There are multiple reasons why they’re so found in so many of our products, from their higher energy density and low self-discharge rates to the impressive recharging capabilities. In fact, the lithium-ion battery market is projected to grow a further 18.9% between now and 2030, reaching upwards of 57 billion USD. However, with the increasing use of lithium-ion batteries, ensuring safety has become a key concern amidst numerous reports of issues occurring, from globally renowned product recalls following battery problems to local UK news stories of people coming into ownership of counterfeit products containing unregulated lithium-ion batteries. …