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Europe to Require EV Battery Passports That Reveal Material Origins

These rules only apply to the EU for now, but you'd imagine they'd make determining IRA tax credit eligibility a snap.

When you go to a restaurant and order a steak, do you ever wonder where the cow came from, what it was fed, and whether it lived in good conditions prior to landing on your plate? That’s sort of what the European Union wants to know, only with electric vehicle batteries, not beef. To reveal the origins and history of the raw materials in EV batteries, the EU will require all EVs to have battery passports that provide all such details.

Whoever makes the battery—be it an automaker or a third-party company—will have to provide the details and create the passport. However, the onus will be on the manufacturer to provide the battery passport data to dealers and owners, but they don’t have to share all of it. To keep carmakers’ intellectual property hidden, they only have to show general information, without revealing exact battery composition. 

At the moment, the United States doesn’t require any sort of battery passport, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. decides to adopt the same requirement. Battery passports could be a way for automakers and the government to easily show whether batteries meet the requirements for federal tax credits

The exact information required for these battery passports hasn’t been defined just yet, but there’s a $7.6 million project called the Battery Pass Consortium currently underway that’s working on it. The project is a joint venture between 11 partners, including BMW and Audi, and it’s slated to take effect by February 2027 if all goes according to plan, per Autocar.

This isn’t as dystopian as it might sound at first, as the customer isn’t required to present battery passports when driving to different countries, or anything like that. It actually provides more transparency between automakers, their battery suppliers, and customers, so people know where their cars’ batteries are coming from. 

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