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Lithium & battery producers warn EU that proposal to classify the metal as a reproductive toxin could severely hurt the electric-vehicle industry

Battery Makers Warn EU That Lithium Proposal May Hurt EV Sector

EU is proposing to list certain lithium chemicals as toxic
Plan could crimp investment in battery industry, groups say
Lithium ore.
Lithium and battery producers warned the European Union that a proposal to classify the metal as a reproductive toxin could severely hurt Europe’s burgeoning electric-vehicle industry.

The material is a key part of EV batteries and widely used in pharmaceuticals, industrial lubricants and specialty glasses. A proposal being considered by the European Commission this month would put some lithium chemicals in the highest category of reproductive and developmental toxins, based partly on human studies carried out in the 1980s and 1990s.

That may stigmatize use of the materials and cut investment in the EV sector, lobby groups including Eurobat, the International Lithium Association and Eurometaux said in an open letter to politicians. EVs play a crucial role in green efforts and automakers such as Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. have warned that soaring materials prices and supply-chain bottlenecks threaten their rollout.

In the letter, the lobby groups raised concerns about the scientific rationale for the classification, which could lead to the chemicals being established as a “substance of very high concern” alongside severely carcinogenic and mutagenic toxins that the EU wants to gradually phase out by restricting usage.