NiCads in electric cars set to go by 2005
Car battery makers have dismissed European Commission claims that the EU will be able to phase out nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries in electric cars by 2005. Trade association Eurobat was responding to today\'s Commission decision to propose removing NiCads from cars by then.
The proposed deadline would extend by two years a date already agreed in the EU\'s end-of-life vehicle directive but currently under review (ED 11/12/01). The Commission says that by 2005 nickel-metal hydride batteries will able to substitute NiCads, and that lithium-ion cells will later also become available for use.
\"We\'re sceptical about that,\" Thomas Hailer, Eurobat secretary-general, told Environment Daily today. \"If it were true, producers would already have jumped on them. I don\'t think there\'ll be full availability.\" Eurobat said it would continue to push for a full permanent exemption for NiCads in cars. The Commission proposal now passes to a member state committee.
The 2005 deadline was decided as a compromise between the environment directorate and other Commission departments, most notably its enterprise directorate, after the former pressed to stick to the directive\'s original NiCad phase-out date (ED 01/03/02). Sources said some Commission voices had argued that the fate of NiCad car batteries should be linked to the wider, and currently intractable, internal debate over the future of other NiCad applications.
Last week, a cross-party group of MEPs from the European Parliament\'s environment committee wrote to the Commission appealing for it to stick to the original phase-out date in the ELV directive.
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