A “battery passport” for electric vehicles might look like this

Tesla and Audi are the first two manufacturers to play the battery passport game for their electric vehicles. We discover how this project, which should be mandatory in Europe on January 1, 2026, could look more concrete.

The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) presented the first examples of what the battery passport project could be at the Davos Economic Forum on January 18, 2023. The aim of this tool is to provide better transparency and traceability throughout the battery life: from its production to recycling.

Behind this project are also hidden a number of challenges, such as controlling carbon emissions during the production of batteries, as well as respecting human rights and eliminating child labor along the value chain. This group represents more than 130 international companies, industrialists and non-governmental organizations that have joined forces since 2017 to improve the experiences of all players and support the transition to electric mobility.

What technical information does this battery passport contain?

The three examples presented on January 18 are the first draft of the future “Battery Passport” that will be attached to every electric car produced. The information provided for one Tesla model and two Audi models is only partial, but it gives a first idea of ​​what the document may contain.

Audi battery. // Source: Audi

The battery passport contains 4 tabs that group different information: battery, materials, environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, and the last “data” tab.

In the first tab related to the battery, we find the following information:

  • The various manufacturers responsible for the cell, assembly and vehicle in which the battery is installed,
  • Dates and locations of various productions,
  • The type of cells, the number of cells in the pack,
  • Total energy (kWh), nominal capacity (Ah) and voltage of the battery pack,
  • chemical type,
  • Battery weight,
  • Energy density (kW/kg),
  • Life expectancy (in number of cycles),
  • Operating temperature range.

An example of Tesla’s Long Range battery:

Tesla battery passport // Source: Global Battery Alliance
Battery passport from Tesla. // Source: Global Battery Alliance

Although much information is already known by certain manufacturers, this passport can provide more transparency on all the batteries installed in the models on the market. This first label will probably provide an accurate identification sheet for the batteries and may be of more specific interest to the end buyer.

The second sign refers more precisely to the materials that make up the battery cells and their origin. The example of the Audi battery allows us to observe several things:

  • Share of recycled materials in cells;
  • Raw materials and their weight for the first used materials;
  • Origin: country of supplier and production.
Origin of battery passport raw materials // Source: Global Battery Alliance
The origin of raw materials in the passport of the battery. // Source: Global Battery Alliance

For each supplier, it is indicated whether the manufacturer is a member of the GBA alliance and therefore a company committed to respecting the group’s code of good conduct.

On the Alliance website, you can refer to various examples: the Tesla model, the first Audi model (115 kWh battery) and the second Audi car (100 kWh battery).

Environmental and human impact tracking and monitoring

The last two pages of the passport should contain information and notes on compliance with environmental and social obligations. Respect for human rights and child labor is especially noted for all participants involved in the production of the battery: from the extraction of raw materials in the mines to the assembly into the vehicles.

Electric vehicle battery passport // Source: Global Battery Alliance
Environmental and social impact present in the battery passport. // Source: Global Battery Alliance

The data will also provide access to the performance classification of the battery according to its carbon impact. They will also highlight sustainability performance.

The data from the three examples presented are still only partial. However, it does help show that the battery industry is moving towards greater sector transparency. No offense to the critics of electric vehicles who see only pollution and child labor in this new ecosystem, which of course they don’t want to hear.

Tracking at all stages with a battery passport // Source: Global Battery Alliance
To be tracked at all stages with a battery passport. // Source: Global Battery Alliance

European Commission commitment for 1 January 2026

Time is still needed for the process to be implemented on a large scale. All batteries produced in the next few years will have a digital clone containing all the data collected throughout the battery’s life cycle. This cloud-based digital twin principle is already used by the automotive industry to manufacture vehicles. Renault already uses it in its factories under the name “industrial metaverse”, but many other manufacturers are also implementing it.

Renault produces digital clones of its models // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Renault produces digital clones of its models. // Source: Raphaelle Baut

The battery passport is also an element introduced by the European Commission on January 1, 2026. After this date, all electric vehicle batteries and industrial batteries on the EU market must have a unique identifier. It will be presented in the form of a QR code with reference to the unique battery passport of the respective vehicle.

We will probably talk about this battery passport often in the coming years.

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