Bill would mandate recycling of electric car batteries
By The Star Staff
In order to safeguard the environment, San Juan District Rep. Víctor Parés Otero announced the filing of a bill on Tuesday to include electric vehicle batteries among the objects that, by law, must be recycled in Puerto Rico.
“Governments, by nature, tend to be reactive rather than proactive,” the legislator said. “Little, if anything, is done to prevent a problem before it occurs. We have to change that. In Puerto Rico we have reached a crossroads around the issue of recycling, particularly about electric vehicle batteries.”
The Highways and Transportation Authority estimates that between 3,000 and 6,000 electric vehicles are already on island roads, Parés Otero pointed out.
“We are sure that this number will increase,” he said. “So what do we do with the batteries in these vehicles when their useful life ends?”
“At this time there are no detailed legal parameters to deal with the problem and if we do not do something, the discarded batteries will end up being an environmental problem and we cannot allow that,” the San Juan District 4 legislator added.
The measure amends subsection (i) and adds a subsection (y) to Section 2.01 of Article 2 of Law 18-2012, better known as the “Puerto Rico Electronic Equipment Recycling and Disposal Act,” to include electric vehicle batteries among the objects that must be recycled on the island.
“Law 18 was made under other parameters because at that time there were no electric vehicles as we know them today,” Parés Otero noted. “We have not currently identified any specific regulations mandating the recycling of the batteries of these electric vehicles in our jurisdiction. This measure changes that by creating, for the first time in our history, a regulation on the handling and disposal of the electric batteries of these vehicles.” According to multiple studies, the lifespan of an electric vehicle battery is around 100,000 miles.
In order to meet the demand for the fuel used by the emerging generation of motor vehicles, that is, electricity, the central administration announced last August that this year charging stations will be installed adjacent to state highways PR-2, PR-22 and PR-52 at different strategic points to meet the demand and increase the use of electric vehicles, which are much friendlier to the environment than those powered by a fossil fuel-burning combustion engine.