New Jersey Enacts Extended Producer Responsibility Law For Electric Vehicle Batteries

ArentFox Schiff

ArentFox Schiff

One of the recent efforts to promote the circular economy has included Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws that give manufacturers responsibility for managing the waste associated with their products beyond the point of sale. With the expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) market, New Jersey has passed a law applying EPR principles to address the disposal and recycling of EV batteries. Below, we break down New Jersey’s new law and its broader implications.

What is EPR?

EPR policies generally assign manufacturers greater responsibility for the end-of-life management of the products they introduce to the market. Under these laws, manufacturers are required to finance the costs of recycling or safely disposing of products consumers no longer want or use. These laws impose liability on producers for the lifecycle of their products.

EPR regulations have been gaining popularity in the United States, particularly for packaging and paper products. California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington all have active EPR or similar laws for packaging.

New Jersey’s Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Battery Management Act

New Jersey is the first state to make producers responsible for EV batteries and other similar propulsion batteries. New Jersey’s Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Battery Management Act requires producers of certain electric and hybrid vehicle propulsion batteries, including lithium-ion and nickel-metal hybrid batteries, to register with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) by January 8, 2025. The law defines producers to include manufacturers, remanufacturers, and importers of propulsion batteries; people who repurpose propulsion batteries; and manufacturers, brand/trademark licensees, and importers of motor vehicles with propulsion batteries.

Beginning January 8, 2026, producers will be required to annually report the number of covered batteries they sell, offer for sale, or distribute in or into New Jersey to the NJ DEP. Starting January 1, 2027, covered batteries sold in New Jersey must include a permanent label providing information to be specified through program regulations. Battery collection and disposal restrictions take effect on January 8, 2027, including a ban on unauthorized disposal of covered batteries as solid waste. Finally, producers must create and submit management plans to the NJ DEP 180 days after it adopts program regulations. “The plan may include a complete vehicle take-back program, a battery take-back program or any other such program approved by the department.” The plans must be approved and reviewed at least every five years, and in implementing the plans, producers must also provide educational materials to consumers regarding available collection services. Stewardship organizations must also submit plans that will achieve program goals established by the NJ DEP.

The law also requires the NJ DEP to undertake a needs assessment over the next six months to determine the availability of recycling operations and related infrastructure. Eighteen months after the needs assessment, NJ DEP is required to establish standards and criteria for battery management plans.

Other EV and EPR Laws

New Jersey’s action on EPR legislation falls within a wider landscape of rules governing the management and recycling of EV batteries. For example, at the federal level, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a proposal to modify the existing universal waste standards for batteries to impose additional requirements for lithium batteries.

New Jersey’s law also follows other states implementing similar laws for different types of batteries. In 2021, Washington, DC enacted an EPR law for rechargeable and primary batteries. Battery manufacturers began joining approved battery stewardship programs and submitting compliance plans in 2023. In 2022, California passed an EPR law that covers a broad scope of single-use and rechargeable batteries, creating an advisory board that requires multi-stakeholder input. In 2023, Washington enacted a law covering a broad scope of single-use and rechargeable batteries. The state also established labeling requirements for certain batteries and introduced a public education requirement. None of these laws covered EV batteries, but Washington State’s law did require the state Department of Ecology to publish policy recommendations for EV battery collection and other large-format battery types by April 2024.


While New Jersey’s law is the first EPR policy to address EV batteries, it could likely serve as a template for other state or federal regulations on EV batteries as the market for them expands.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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