Lithium-ion batteries: European Union launches battery alliance initiative

Car battery

Roskill view: The EU has identified that lack of a European cell manufacturing base jeopardises the position of EU industrial customers because of the security of the supply chain, increased costs due to transportation, time delays, weaker quality control or limitations on the design. To overcome this competitive disadvantage and capitalize on the EU’s leadership in many sectors of the battery value chain, from materials to system integration and recycling, the bloc has decided to launch a battery alliance, dubbed the “Airbus for batteries” following Europe’s strategy to build a commercial aircraft manufacturing powerhouse to rival Boeing in the US.

The battery alliance brings the EU and a suite of largely German firms, including automakers Volkswagen and Daimler, engineering company Siemens, and chemical group BASF together. French car giant Renault, Total’s Saft Group and Leclanche were also invited to the meeting which took place last week, which aims to promote a consortium of invested players across Europe eager to improve the competitiveness of cell manufacturing.

The EC has said that it will adopt a strategic plan early next year, and could be supported by up to €2.2Bn in EU funding. Rumour of a forthcoming EU policy on electric vehicles is likely to catalyse increased support to domestic manufacturers in Europe, although with limited lithium-ion battery and supply chain volume production in Europe it will be a steep path to counter the dominance of China, Korea and Japan in battery cell manufacture.

Roskill’s Lithium-ion Batteries: Global Industry, Markets & Outlook report is in the process of being updated for a second edition release. Click here to access further information.