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Borealis participates in major European project for the development of more sustainable batteries

As the first of many announced initiatives within their new Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission has proposed a modernisation of EU legislation on batteries. In order to achieve the goals set forth in the European Green Deal, including “zero pollution,” the sustainability, safety and performance of batteries placed on the EU market must be improved. Throughout the entire life cycle, batteries must be long lasting and safe; at end-of life, they must be repurposed, remanufactured, or recycled in order to return valuable materials back into the European economy.

As of 1 July 2024, only rechargeable industrial and electric vehicle batteries for which a carbon footprint declaration is available may be placed on the market. In order to close the resource loop and recover the valuable materials used in batteries for further use within the European economy, the Commission has proposed the establishment of new targets and requirements. These shall apply to the content of recycled materials as well as the collection, treatment, and recycling of batteries at end-of-life. These measures shall ensure that even after their service life has ended, industrial, automotive and electric vehicle batteries can still give back to the economy.

Europe is not an important player in the production of lithium-ion batteries (Li-ions) for electric vehicles, and is dependent on imports. The Commission is thus using this initiative as an opportunity to safeguard the strategic autonomy of the automotive sector. To this end, it has established two “Important Projects of Common European Interest,” or IPCEI, for Li-ions. IPCEIs aim to bundle the expertise and financial resources of both public and private actors throughout the entire EU in order to produce ground-breaking innovations for large-scale projects that contribute to economic growth, job creation, and enhance the overall competitiveness of European industries and the economy.

Led by its division for Sustainability & Public Affairs and Open Innovation, Borealis has participated in the most recent pan-European IPCEI, “European Battery Innovation.” It is now co-operating with multiple partners along the entire value chain. Among the sustainable polyolefins-based solutions under development are battery housings, cell holders, and separators, but also recycling technologies. IPCEI projects qualify for state aid subject to strict EU regulations. The Austrian government is providing co-financing means of EUR 7.5m for our participation in this project.

Christophe Salles
Head of Marketing at Borealis Automotive

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