China's ministry of industry and information technology has announced new regulations for the recycling of used new energy vehicle (NEV) power batteries.
The regulations, with effect from 1 January, include new recovery rates for major battery metals. The recovery rate for nickel, cobalt and manganese should not be below 98pc, while the rate for lithium must be above 85pc.
Rare earths are now subject to a recovery rate of no less than 97pc.
The regulations are expected to increase supplies of battery metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. The additional supplies are likely to be mostly used in NEV batteries.
China's NEV production has increased rapidly over the last decade. The country's power battery recycling industry is expected to enter a "large-scale" phase in 2020 with an output of 24.6GWh, according to the China automotive technology and research centre (Catarc).
Many Chinese companies have invested in the power battery recycling sector. China's largest nickel and cobalt producer Jinchuan set up battery recycling operations in Anhui and Gansu provinces in September 2018. Large battery producer Green Eco-Manufacture plans to build a new recycling facility in Hubei province.
China's NEV output and sales growth stabilised in 2019 following a cut in government subsidies. The country's newly installed capacity of power batteries used in NEVs increased by 20pc in January-November 2019 from a year earlier to 52.5GWh, data from the China association of automobile manufacturers (CAAM) showed.