How green is your electric car really? New battery 'passports' will reveal all

Electric Vehicles
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When you're shopping for a new electric bike, e-scooter, or electric car, a new 'passport' for batteries will soon help you understand the effect of its battery on the environment. 

As ebiketips (opens in new tab) reports, the scheme is due to start at the end of 2022, and will tell you all about how and where a specific battery was made, and even how it could be reused once it reaches the end of its life – all of which are becoming increasingly important as electric vehicles become mainstream.

The electric vehicle (EV) industry is booming, largely thanks to their status as a greener alternative to conventional vehicles, producing far fewer emissions in the form of both gases and particulates. However, EV batteries have their own environmental and social costs.

Mining issues

For example, demand for lithium (an essential material for EV batteries) has surged in recent years, and mining the metal (opens in new tab) in Chile requires huge amounts of water, resulting in reduced availability for people and wildlife. 

Demand for cobalt has also surged thanks to the increasing popularity of EVs. More than 70% of the world's cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where serious human rights issues including fatal accidents and child labor are widely reported.

The battery passport system will give much more transparency, helping identify batteries that are best and worst in class, and provide minimum standards for ethical and sustainable batteries.

It won't just be for car makers and bike builders, either. According to the Global Battery Alliance (opens in new tab), which is the organization behind the scheme, key info will also be available for customers so you can make an educated choice when picking a new car, bike, or scooter.

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)