The Battery Industry Group in New Zealand, originally the Battery Leaders Group when convened in late 2018, is mainly funded by Ministry for the Environment, but with the Motor Industry Association and Auckland electricity and gas distributor Vector also chipping in, BIG now has 170 members from businesses, academia and other organizations across the energy, transport, waste and battery sectors.
BIG effectively proposes a guardianship encompassing every aspect of a battery’s NZ-market involvement, favoring whole-of-life product stewardship – an acceptance of responsibility for reducing a product’s environmental impact – financial obligation and declarations of compliance and envisages involvement from Customs, NZ Transport Agency and Ministry for the Environment.
The scheme will add to the cost of batteries, but how much will be decided by a formula. Because the number of batteries reaching end of life will, for a long time, be less than the numbers imported/placed on the market, the costs added to imported batteries at the start of the scheme will be much lower than the actual cost of recycling them. Financial modelling undertaken suggests that the likely fees in the first 20 years will be between $20 and $260 per large battery.
BIG accepts its pitch might trigger potential for more wide-ranging ‘end of life vehicle’ regulation to ensure all types of vehicles are treated equitably. But it hopes something will happen, by 2023.
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