Global Battery Alliance: Product Innovation of the Year – Solutions, Systems & Software

The Global Battery Alliance, submitted by the Eurasian Resources Group, won edie’s Product Innovation of the Year Award 2024, for its development of a digital battery passport providing tamper-proof information on battery material supply chains and technology specifications. The passport is set to be mandated in the EU for electric vehicle batteries.

Global Battery Alliance: Product Innovation of the Year – Solutions, Systems & Software

At a glance:  
Who: Global Battery Alliance, nominated by the Eurasian Resources Group 
What: A digital certificate system for batteries  
Where: Headquartered in Brussels  
When: Launched January 2023  
Why: To transform traceability in battery supply chains, bringing visibility to environmental and social impacts  

The Challenge:   

Digitisation, population growth, upgrades to energy grid infrastructure and the electrification of sectors such as transport all mean that the demand for lithium-ion batteries is increasing exponentially. This trend is set to accelerate in the coming decades.  

This will result in soaring demand for the minerals and metals used to make batteries, which will need to be met without jeopardising other sustainable development ambitions such as those relating to human rights and nature. Measuring success looks set to be challenging given how complex battery supply chains can be.   

The Solution:   

The Global Battery Alliance has undertaken a major cross-industry effort to develop and test what it claims is the first “truly verifiable” digital certificate to track the lifecycle of a battery in terms of all major ESG impacts.  

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is a founding member of the GBA and the co-Chair of the GBA is also the CEO of ERG? 

Battery passports include a QR code which, when scanned, leads to in-depth information on material provenance, carbon emissions, child labour and human rights across the battery lifecycle. Passports can also track battery age and technical specifications, giving users information on when repairs and replacements may be needed.  

The idea of the passport is to enable customers – both businesses and individuals – to make more informed battery purchasing decisions.  

How it works:   

The Battery Passport took more than three years to develop and more than 80 Global Battery Alliance member organisations participated in the process. Passports have been developed for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the first instance.  

Through the passport, data can be input at all stages of an EV battery’s lifecycle, from upstream to midstream and downstream. The provenance of raw materials and the processes used to extract them must be logged, as must information on refinement processes and so on.   

This information is then tracked against best-practice industry requirements and guidelines on emissions and human rights.  

Pilots of the process using major automakers’ data were conducted to see what could happen in the event of non-compliance with guidelines, or failures to input accurate information. These challenges were found to be surmountable.  

Passports are tamper-proof and information can be accessed using QR codes.  

The results:   

Prototype Battery Passports were first launched at the World Economic Forum’s annual Davos gathering in January 2023. These included example data from firms including Tesla, Audi and their value chain partners.  

The EU has decided to mandate Battery Passports by 2026, meaning that the process is set to go mainstream in the coming years. The Global Battery Alliance is encouraging other countries to introduce similar mandates. The US and Canada have indicated support for the passports in principle.  

It is hoped that widespread adoption can tackle issues such as forced labour, child labour and waste in the sector with urgency.  

The Global Battery Alliance plans to roll out additional indices in the future, including one for small-scale mines.  

The Judges said:   

“The introduction of battery passports will enable full traceability on key aspects including carbon footprint and human rights. This also has the potential to help extend battery life and keep critical materials in use for longer. Developing this system was certainly not a trivial undertaking.”  

© Faversham House Ltd 2024 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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