Unlocking the potential of battery energy storage
The transition to a low carbon economy relies on mobile (electric vehicle) and stationary battery energy storage. These batteries have more than one useful life. Safely recovering and reusing the batteries at the end of their intended first life, then recovering and recycling the resources at the final end of use is a vital part of the transition.
Technology used in battery energy storage is changing rapidly with a shift worldwide to car manufacturers leasing electric vehicle batteries through to remaining involved in the end of first life cycle so that the valuable components of these batteries are returned for reuse in their own process. Transition to use of large battery banks for stationery energy storage is also growing rapidly, and competition is also emerging within this second life battery market.
Work to date
The government included large batteries (excluding lead acid batteries), in the declaration of priority products in 2020. That means their import and sale will need to be in accordance with a regulated product stewardship scheme.
The Battery Industry Group (B.I.G), made up of over 170 stakeholders in the value chain, was brought together to co-design a product stewardship scheme. The design was submitted to government in 2020 and is intended to make sure large batteries play a key role in Aotearoa New Zealand’s circular economy and are managed safely.
The role of Auto Stewardship New Zealand
Regulated product stewardship schemes must be operated by a product stewardship organisation (PSO). In 2021 the B.I.G. governance group agreed that Auto Stewardship New Zealand would be responsible for governance and act as the PSO for the scheme.
Further work is now being undertaken so that an application for accreditation as a regulated scheme for this priority product can be made.