Acculon Energy

Part II: A Conversation with David Ginder: The Evolution of Safety Standards & the Regulatory Environment for Li-ion Battery Systems

Join us for Part 2 of our exclusive Q&A with distinguished battery safety expert & our Director of Engineering, David Ginder. Today we’re discussing global changes in the regulatory environment & the industry effects of new EU standards.

Contact: Betsy Barry
Communication Manager

Last week, we posted the first part of our interview with David Ginder, Acculon’s Director of Engineering where we discussed the different dimensions of battery safety and delved into the innovations shaping the future of reliable energy storage solutions. This week we’re rounding out the interview with the second half of our talk, discussing the changing regulatory environment and the new EU standards impacting our industry. 


Regulatory Environment:

Question: How have global regulatory bodies contributed to shaping standards in the battery industry? Are there differences in safety regulations across regions and internationally that impact manufacturers and end-users?

David: The EU is really driving the regulatory environment for batteries as we move to electrify more and more products.  There are actually two main global regulatory bodies that are shaping the regulatory environment of the battery industry at the moment: 1) The creation and harmonization of the standards themselves through the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC) and 2) The new EU regulations for battery sustainability.

  1. IEC: For years, the IEC has been working on standards for Europe, similar to the UL and CSA specifications in the US and Canada, respectively. These IEC committees are called Technical Committees (TC) and the Subcommittee TC contributors are from more than 170 countries, coordinating the work of over 30,000 experts. This includes distinct harmonization between the IEC, UL, and CSA, which ensures a truly global approach to safety standards across industry segments.

  2. EU Regulations: The new EU regulations, while safety standards per se, will have a significant impact on the electrification of both on-road and off-road battery systems.

“I think it is not an understatement to say that the EU regulatory landscape in particular is going to set standards that reverberate here in the US, as well as abroad.”

– David Ginder,
Director of Engineering

The European Parliament is pushing to ban the sale of new internal combustion engines for cars by 2030. If electrification is to be a truly sustainable transition, the sheer volumetric increases of raw materials require taking a system-level approach to ensure sustainable material sourcing, efficient battery production, and effective end-of-life processing.

In 2023, the European Directives were amended and adopted requiring digital information to be shared between parties on the sustainability of batteries.  This will be a QR code on every battery that contains the new Battery Passport to be implemented by February 1st of 2027.  Every battery sold in the EU over 2kWh must have a battery passport. So let’s take a 10,000ft view of what a battery passport consists of. A battery passport requires input suppliers of battery material through recyclability. Requirements throughout the supply chain the input required include:

  • Mining and refining companies

  • Cell and battery producers

  • Vehicle brands

  • Battery servicing, refurbishing, and recycling companies

Battery passport information shall include:

  • Identification of the battery in the form of a unique identifier

  • Basic characteristics of the battery including type and model

  • Statistics on performance and durability must also be updated over the battery lifecycle by parties conducting repair or repurposing of the battery

The impact of the battery passport cannot be overstated and even this cursory, 10,000 ft overview shows the stringent nature of this new regulation. But even before 2027, there are other aspects of the new EU regulations that will impact the battery industry, such as the carbon footprint requirements that will be phased rolled out in 2025. This regulation requires that a carbon footprint calculation be done for each battery, including recycled content percentages and supply chain due diligence that takes human rights into consideration.

All in all, the new global regulations are going to be a huge administrative burden to establish and maintain. Any changes to the product content must then be updated in the Battery Passport.  If any link within the supply chain refuses or cannot provide its data, it will be banned from providing batteries to the EU. 

You may be asking, why is this important to US suppliers building products within the US?  Simple, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) requires validation of supplier content to receive the tax incentives associated with the IRA and the battery passport provides all the needed information for this compliance. I think it is not an understatement to say that the EU regulatory landscape in particular is going to set standards that reverberate here in the US, as well as abroad.

As we wrap up our latest conversation with safety expert David Ginder, we’ve delved into the crucial realm of battery systems in the electrification space, gaining a deeper understanding of the unique safety challenges in these cutting-edge technologies. 

As the world rapidly transitions towards electrification, David’s expertise reminds us of the paramount importance of prioritizing safety at every stage of design, development, and deployment. His emphasis on rigorous testing and UL certification, global regulatory environments, and proactive risk management serves as a cornerstone for the industry’s evolution towards safer, more sustainable energy storage solutions.

Thank you David for sharing your invaluable knowledge and perspective!