The legislature finds that while the state is increasingly encouraging new energy storage technologies such as electric vehicles and electric grid scale battery storage, these technologies are dependent on critical materials and difficult-to-source earth components. Current battery production processes can require cobalt, lithium, nickel, manganese, neodymium, iron, copper, aluminum, and phosphate among additional minerals. The legislature further finds that the increasing popularity of electric vehicles has created a need for a smart end-of-life process for batteries used in electric vehicles to protect Washington state residents. It is the intent of the legislature for Washington state to become a worldwide leader in electric vehicle battery recycling and stewardship.
Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the department of commerce shall:
Conduct a literature review of the global availability of lithium, critical materials, and other materials used in electric vehicle batteries;
Research successful approaches and methods used in other states and countries and by private companies to develop infrastructure for recycling batteries used in electric vehicles. Methods may include incentives for manufacturers to extract critical materials from electric vehicle batteries for reuse, as well as requirements for designing electric vehicle batteries for recycling; and
Collaborate with the department of ecology on drafting legislation to establish a statewide recycling program for batteries used in electric vehicles.
The department of commerce may consult with the department of ecology, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the joint center for the deployment and research in earth abundant materials to prepare these materials.
The department of commerce must submit a report to the legislature by June 30, 2023, in compliance with RCW 43.01.036. At a minimum, the report must summarize the literature review and successful approaches and methods research and provide draft legislation as required by (a) of this subsection.