What are the main requirements batteries must meet?
To ensure the European battery value chain is controlled and has increasingly less impact on the environment, the new European Battery Regulation sets a number of general provisions covering from the technical documentation on the battery, to a precise Environmental Footprint declaration for the accumulators, all the way to the battery recycling policy.
Let’s examine the main ones.
Documentation: The European Battery Passport
Beginning May 2026, batteries above 2kWh placed in the Union market will be required to be electronically registered. This will be in the form of a Battery Passport carrying an identification QR Code and CE label that will ensure compliance with the safety and traceability requirements of the new European Battery Regulation.
The Battery Passport is basically a digital document that maximises the communication between manufacturers, end users and recycling operators, providing information on the carbon footprint of the battery manufacturing processes and ensuring the traceability of the batteries.
The Battery Passport will include information specific to the batteries placed on the market and their sustainability requirements. It will provide always up-to-date data on battery handling and state of health to recycling operators and those repurposing batteries for a second life.
More specifically, as a genuine identification document, the Battery Passport will be required to store the following information:
- Name of manufacturer, registered trademark.
- Type of battery and batch or serial number, or any other element that allows uniquely identifying the battery
- Battery model identifier
- Date of manufacture
- Date of placement on the market
- Chemical composition
- Potentially harmful substances contained in the battery
- Recycled raw materials contained in the battery
- Information and activities related to repair, reuse and dismantling
- Treatment, recycling and recovery methods the battery can undergo at the end of its life.
QR Code on each Battery
To enable consumers, economic operators and other stakeholders to easily access the information and traceability requirements contained in the Battery Passport, the information will be available via a QR Code that must be:
- printed or engraved visibly,
- big enough to be read by commonly available QR code readers,
- indelible on each battery.
If this is not possible due to the nature and size of the battery, the QR code must be placed on the battery’s packaging and accompanying documents.
Both the Battery Passport and its related QR Code will cease to exist when the battery is recycled, basically because these documents follow the life cycle of their related battery.
CE Label on the Batteries
Lastly, in addition to the Battery Passport, beginning May 2026, every type of battery placed on the market will also be required to carry the CE mark. This marking is granted by a notified certification body and indicates that the product complies with EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements. The mark must be affixed on the battery before its placement on the market and must be visible, legible and indelible (if impracticable, it can be placed on the packaging and accompanying documents, just like the QR Code).
In addition, the CE marking must include the identification number of the certifying body and, where necessary, be accompanied by hazard pictograms or other hazard markings related to battery use, storage, transport and treatment.
BMS: The Battery’s Health Indicator
To enable the Battery Passport to draw updated information about the health of the batteries and the expected life of each accumulation system to which it is associated, the new proposed European Battery Regulation states that, beginning May 2024, every battery must be equipped with a BMS (Battery Management System). In addition to performing cell balancing, which increases the battery’s lifespan, a BMS can estimate the battery’s State of Charge (SOC) and State of Health (SOH) from the battery’s voltage and current values.
It also states that the information provided by the BMS must be accessible to the natural or juridical person that legally purchased the battery or to third parties. However, the BMS data that can be shared must be better defined in order to limit the operating scope of those having access to the data and thus avoid safety issues, breaches of intellectual property rights and fraud.
Manufacturers with management systems already in place for their batteries will definitely have an easier ride during this transition, because they will be compliant with the requirements of the European Battery Regulation ahead of time thanks to their established technology.
An example is the proprietary Flash Battery BMS, called Flash Balancing System, patented in Italy and with a patent pending in Europe. This intelligent battery management system delivers ultra-fast cell balancing by operating at high power in both active and passive-active mode (20A), representing a great advantage for Flash Battery lithium batteries in terms of charging times, which are short and predictable. What’s more, it provides a comprehensive check of the battery pack, with real-time monitoring of all parameters.
This makes the performance of the battery more stable over time, prevents faults, and makes self-diagnostics and predictive maintenance possible. All in all, this translates into a deeper knowledge of how industrial machines powered by Flash Battery lithium batteries are used and a realistic estimate of the lifespan of the battery on the machine.