In May CLEPA gathered over 200 participants from the entire automotive ecosystem for the Materials Regulations and Sustainability Event in Stuttgart, Germany.
During two days of the conference, industry experts met in the Stuttgart area to discuss technical issues, such as chemical restrictions, eco-design requirements as well as reporting tools and sustainability initiatives.
Around 30 speakers shared their insights on Circularity, and its growing relevance in relation to the electrification of mobility allowing the audience to get up to speed on the most recent legislative developments at the EU and international level, also reflecting on the past year’s development and with an eye towards milestones to come. Automotive Critical Raw Materials and the need for dedicated investment to scale up recycling capacity were highlighted at the event.
Among the guest speakers were Commission representatives, OEM technical experts, as well as academia, material suppliers, and other sustainability stakeholders.
One of the key messages coming out of the event was the need for increased cooperation across the value chain and across regions, to help cope with the high level of change and uncertainty in the Automotive industry, related to regulatory delays, geopolitical struggles, ambiguities in political priorities and environmental trade-offs.
As highlighted during the event, demand for lithium for batteries in the EU is set to grow to 12 times the current demand by 2030 and 21 times by 2050. Recognising the importance of securing a sustainable supply of critical raw materials, the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) seeks to address this pressing issue. However, significant challenges remain to be addressed, including the scaling up of sustainable extraction, processing and manufacturing of battery materials, as well as the availability of secondary material with sufficient quality.
Justo Garcia, Financing Strategy Manager from Orano and coordinator of RESPECT project spoke about the company´s activities on recycling of strategic materials, its involvement in different research projects such as RECYVABAT, BATRAW and RESPECT, and notably the preparation for industrial deployment of their first recycling unit. As highlighted during his presentation, in order to meet the recycling challenge, Europe has to build recycling infrastructure, especially for material recovery, including the needed financial support and regulatory certainty.
Learn more about the event here.