The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFC) has issued a notification on rules for battery waste management, given the surge in demand for electric vehicles and therefore the need to have an organised channel for their safe disposal and recycling.
These rules, called the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022, shall apply to producer, dealer, consumer, entities involved in collection, segregation, transportation, refurbishment and recycling of waste batteries. All types of batteries, regardless of chemistry, shape, volume, weight, material composition and use are covered under the rules.
The rules also have a provision for penal action on violation and imposition of environmental compensation. The ministry has also set a minimum recovery percentage target for recovered materials out of dry weight batteries.
These recovered materials will be then used for producing new batteries. The recovery target set for FY25 is set at 70%, which increases to 80% in FY26 and to 90% in FY27 and onwards.
“The recovery target may be reviewed by the committee once every four years to revisit the minimum levels of recovered battery materials in light of technical and scientific progress and emerging new technologies in waste management,” the notification stated.
While the sustained push for adoption of electric vehicles has yielded desired results for the government, however, it has been late to form rules for managing waste batteries looking at the surge in sales for EVs in the country.
According to data shared by the ministry of road transport and highways, India is home to nearly 1.4 million electric vehicles, as of early August 2022. More than half of this volume consists of electric three-wheelers followed by two-wheelers and passenger cars.
Every person or an entity involved in manufacturing of batteries shall have to register through an online centralised portal. The total quantity of waste battery processed by entity, on a quarterly basis, will be made available on the portal developed by Central Pollution Control Board and on the websites of the entities. All battery recyclers will have to register with the state pollution control board through the online portal.
The MoEFC notification also stated that the central pollution control board shall compile and publish the data received every year from the state pollution control boards.
The joint secretary or the officer equivalent in the ministry of environment, forest and climate change shall be designated as an Appellate Authority India’s electric vehicle market is expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 49% till 2030 when the EV volumes may cross annual sales of 17 million, as per a report by India Energy Storage Alliance.
A number of established companies including Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India and host of start-ups are betting on Evs.
Vehicle makers are pumping in nearly Rs 50,000 crore over the next 3-4 years for setting up new factories, new products and to boost their R&D in the EV space.