Car companies including Geely, WM Motor, Hozon Auto and Leap Motor have joined with battery companies to issue a statement calling for regulating the flow of used electric vehicle batteries.

The joint statement was launched in July to add restrictive conditions to the trading auction of used power batteries to prevent them from flowing into the informal market, according to an announcement made on Wednesday by the WeChat account of Automobile, the EV brand of Hozon Auto.

The companies called for only regulated waste power battery consolidation companies that are on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) list to participate in the bidding.

The companies that initiated the announcement also include energy battery companies A123 Systems, REPT Energy, Tianneng Group, Chilwee Group, and Narada Power Source.

They launched an initiative to all new energy vehicles and power battery manufacturers in China, hoping to make a concerted effort to regulate the flow of used power batteries and to contribute to the healthy and sustainable development of the recycling industry.

Currently there is no clear pricing mechanism for power battery recycling in China, and the informal market offers higher prices and lower costs, making most used batteries go to the informal market.

There are only 27 regulated power battery recycling companies on MIIT's list in China, with a total of 13,137 stores nationwide.

In the informal market, recycling prices for used lithium batteries range from about RMB 8,000 ($1,235) to RMB 10,000 per ton, according to a report by The Beijing News in the middle of last month.

Regulated power battery recyclers offer lower prices than informal vendors because they need to assess the remaining life and performance of the batteries.

As the prices of industrial metals such as nickel, cobalt and manganese continue to rise, so do the prices offered by informal vendors, widening the price gap between them and regulated recyclers.

China steps up efforts to improve power battery recycling