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Japan and Europe establish a data sharing system to collaborate on the recycling of electric vehicle batteries

Publish Date: 2024.04.23

  According to foreign media reports, Japan and Europe will cooperate in the recycling and utilization of electric vehicle batteries, and both sides will establish a new system to share information on the mining locations and mineral suppliers of battery raw materials.


  The system will be launched in 2025 with the aim of eliminating dependence on major suppliers of rare metals such as lithium (especially China), preventing the outflow of these strategic rare materials from Japan and Europe, and promoting their reuse.


  On April 22nd, the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan signed a memorandum of understanding with Europe on information sharing and mutual authentication. Currently, both Japan and Europe have their own electronic platforms for managing electric vehicle battery information.


  Image source: Toyota


  Japan is advancing its proprietary industrial data platform called the Ouranos ecosystem, which is expected to involve around 50 companies, including automotive giants such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. In addition, Prime Planet Energy&Solutions, a joint venture battery company between Toyota and Panasonic, will also join.


  On the European side, the public-private partnership data platform Catena-X, led by car manufacturers such as BMW Group and Mercedes Benz Group, has been put into use. Japan and Europe plan to connect the Ouranos and Catena-X platforms by 2025. However, confidential information related to the core competitiveness of Japanese companies, such as suppliers and procurement amounts, will not be shared.


  The main purpose of this cooperation is to share information on the materials currently used in batteries and track them to prevent leakage. According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), China processes and refines 65% of the world's total lithium, which is a key component of electric vehicle batteries. China also accounted for half of all refinery construction projects before 2030.


  By sharing production and material supply chain information, Japanese and European companies will be able to jointly purchase raw materials, thereby reducing costs and promoting collaborative development of efficient battery components. Ultimately, the Japan Europe Union will also require battery manufacturers from other countries, including China, to comply with their information disclosure rules.


  Previously, the European Union had decided to introduce regulations requiring companies to recycle electric vehicle battery materials such as lithium and cobalt in the region. In order to comply with this regulation, "battery passports" such as Catena-X and Ouranos are needed to record and manage information throughout the entire supply chain, including the country of origin of materials, production history, recovery rates, and carbon dioxide emissions. This system will enable Japanese companies that have obtained Uranos certification to automatically obtain certification in the European Union.


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