The Environment Office (UBA) of Germany's federal government confirmed that the batteries of pedelecs and e-bikes are industrial batteries in terms of §8 of the country's new "Batterie Gesetz" (BattG). As such, they have to be disposed of in a special way. The BattG will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming LEV workshop in Aschaffenburg.
The disposal of old batteries of electricity-driven 2-wheel bicycles in line with the new "Batterie-Gesetz" (BattG) is a big talking point among both bike manufacturers and traders at the moment.
In terms of BattG, a "manufacturer" is anyone who brings motors with batteries, or complete e-bikes, into circulation for the first time in Germany. This definition includes importing traders.
LEV batteries are industrial batteries
The Federal Environment Office (UBA) declared that LEV batteries (ie. also batteries for pedelecs and e-bikes) are industrial batteries in accordance with §8 of BattG. No other interpretation is possible, since the aforementioned is expressly described in the law. Special transport and disposal prescriptions are in place for industrial batteries. For instance, industrial batteries have to be treated as hazardous goods, making them subject to UN transport prescriptions - also when batteries are being disposed of.
It follows that bicycle manufacturers must register themselves at the UBA as "national in-circulation-placers of industrial batteries" and must declare how they will handle the disposal of these batteries. Many manufacturers still rely on their long-standing contracts with the Common Return System for Batteries (GRS), since they've already paid disposal fees for their batteries.
But, these contracts were concluded at a time when batteries of 2-wheel motor-driven bikes were still defined as device batteries. They stopped being device batteries with the introduction of BattG. The first solution for the collective return of industrial batteries is now offered by IB-REC, who set up a big disposal company together with CCR-REBAT. In addition, manufacturers and traders are now obligated by the BattG to accept back every single battery, to dispose of it in terms of the law and to be able to verify that they have.
The implications of the new BattG, opportunities, problems and risks will be discussed in-depth at the LEV Workshop of ExtraEnergy and BMZ on 15 April. Representatives of UBA, disposal companies and specialists for battery safety will be in attendance to advise participants.
Registration form for and program of LEV workshop
Copy: Nora Manthey
Photo: Susanne Brüsch
Translation: Christoffel Volschenk
Date: 10 March 2010