Safety first and handle with care. A clever truck driver knows to live by these mottos when he’s handling shipments of lithium-ion batteries. But are you aware of all the safety regulations regarding the transport of EV batteries? Whether you are collecting end-of-life batteries from your customers or shipping them to the recycler, in order to eliminate the risks for everyone involved, there are a few things you need to absolutely get right before you can send lithium-ion batteries out on the road.

Keep on reading to discover the three main requirements for safe transportation, and learn how smart businesses deal with them in the most efficient way.

1. The right label

First of all, your shipment needs the correct label: the ‘European Waste code’. This provides all handlers with the information they need to safely process your shipment.

According to the ADR, the European rulebook on carriage of dangerous goods, lithium-ion batteries are in Class 9: Miscellaneous - Hazardous Materials. All shipments of lithium-ion batteries must bear the label of that class.

But your responsibility doesn’t end there. You also need to determine for each battery whether it is damaged, defective or simply discarded. This is crucial, because damaged batteries pose a greater risk during transportation, due to lower stability.

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2. The right packing

The second thing to get right is the packing of your batteries. This is without a doubt the most important step of the batteries’ transport journey, as this is where you can fully eliminate the risk of dangerous reactions. The condition of the battery determines its packaging.

The ADR defines detailed packing instructions for lithium-ion batteries carried for disposal or recycling. Broadly speaking, if the batteries are not damaged, your responsibility is to:

  • pack them in a drum, box or jerrican, made out of certain types of metal or strong plastic (if you use metal, make sure to use a non-conductive lining) ;
  • prevent short circuit; and
  • protect the battery from dangerous evolution of heat.

However, when the batteries are damaged or defective, there’s more to consider.

If the damaged or defective batteries are not critical:

  • place the battery in inner- and outer packaging that is leak proof, to prevent potential release of electrolyte; and
  • take measures to minimise the effects of vibrations and shocks.

If the damaged or defective batteries are critical (meaning “liable to rapidly disassemble, dangerously react, produce a flame or a dangerous evolution of heat or a dangerous emission of a toxic, corrosive or flammable gases or vapours under normal conditions of carriage” (ADR, 2019)), make sure that:

  • the outside surface temperature of the package does not exceed 100°C;
  • no flame can occur outside the package;
  • no projectiles can exit the package;
  • the structural integrity of the package is maintained; and
  • the package has a gas management system.

You can consult the detailed instructions in the ADR Book.

3. The right shipping company

Finally, it’s important to know this: not every shipping company is suitable to transport your EV batteries. When you select your carrier, make sure he has:

  • guidelines on how to ship lithium-ion batteries;
  • trained people who know how to handle lithium-ion batteries in a safe way; and
  • a clear understanding of the ADR regulations regarding lithium-ion batteries

The right company will know exactly what to do, so you can rest assured that your batteries will safely arrive at their destination.


Let Reneos handle your lithium-ion battery transport

Clearly, transportation of EV batteries is a big responsibility that comes with many rules and regulations to consider. That’s why the smartest and most efficient businesses leave all these concerns to the experts. That’s what Reneos is here for.

Reneos has the largest network of EV battery collectors and recyclers in Europe. Our local experts take care of labeling, packing on request, storing and transportation of your EV batteries.

So whatever your specific requirements are, we are happy to include them in a tailor-made plan for your company.

Discover what Reneos can do for you:

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