In case someone is looking for candidates for the Buzzword of the Year, “battery passport” might be a good choice. Traceability and tracking of battery materials is a hot topic, thanks to “Buy American” provisions of the IRA and BIL in the US, and similar regulations under development in the EU.
Industry players have floated the idea of a battery passport—a standardized way to document the provenance of a battery—for some time, but now the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), an industry group made up of over 100 companies, including mining companies (Glencore) automakers (Tesla) and battery manufacturers (LG) is taking specific steps to create a useful new tool for companies and consumers.
The GBA has been working on the project for years, and recently announced a major step towards making it a reality in its new Greenhouse Gas Rulebook.
“The Battery Passport will both certify compliance with greenhouse gas emission legal and societal expectations and clearly differentiate more valuable batteries in the market based on their sourcing impact and performance,” writes the GBA. “The specific objectives of this version of the Greenhouse Gas Rulebook are to set globally harmonized rules that make ‘cradle to gate’ Battery Carbon Footprints transparent; and to allow decisions to be driven by reliable, accessible, and trusted data. The Rulebook aims to provide a sound method by which process-specific data is generated and collected in a homogeneous way and Battery Carbon Footprints across vendors in the battery value chain are comparable.”
The passport metaphor is an apt one, as the GBA appears to envision going beyond existing traceability solutions to create a document for each individual battery. “The Battery Passport is a digital representation of a battery that conveys information about all applicable ESG and lifecycle requirements based on a comprehensive definition of a sustainable battery. Each Battery Passport will be a digital twin of its physical battery enabled by the digital Battery Passport platform, which offers a global solution for securely sharing information and data.”
The GBA’s Battery Passport system will include:
- A global reporting framework to govern rules around measurement, auditing and reporting of ESG parameters across the battery value chain.
- A digital ID for batteries containing data and descriptions about the ESG performance, manufacturing history and provenance, as well as advancing battery life extension and enabling recycling.
- Harmonizing of digital systems collaborating across the value chain to report data into the battery passport.
- A digital platform that will collect, exchange, collate, and report data among all authorized lifecycle stakeholders to advance a sustainable value chain for EV and stationary batteries.
- A quality seal for batteries (based on the data reported into the platform) to facilitate responsible purchasing by consumers.