Several industry groups have warned in a letter to EU legislators that EU classification of lithium as a hazardous substance would delay the energy transition and undermine Europe's position in the electric vehicle race. The European Battery Recycling Association, the European Geothermal Energy Council, Eurobat, Eurometaux, Euromines, the International Lithium Association and Recharge have expressed deep concerns at a proposal from the European Chemicals Agency's risk assessment committee to classify three lithium compounds.They wrote “Europe is at a critical period in its energy transition, needing to stimulate new investment into a full electric vehicle battery value chain. Its looming challenge is now to secure the battery metals that will be in very short supply over the next 15 years. An unjustified lithium salt classification will be a red flag that brings great uncertainty to companies looking to make long-term investments into European refining and recycling capacity, risking delays or different investment decisions toward competing markets.”The European Commission is considering a proposal by the ECHA to classify lithium carbonate, chloride, and hydroxide as dangerous for human health. The proposal does not ban lithium imports, but if approved it would add to processors' costs because of tighter rules on processing, packaging and storage. A final decision is expected at the end of 2022 or early 2023.The EU expects there to be 30mn electric cars on the continent by 2030. To meet demand, an equal number of batteries will need to be produced, for which access to raw materials is becoming critical.