With the proliferation of battery manufacturing projects on the continent, Europe hopes to no longer depend on Asia to power electric cars.
Europe is headlong into the electrification of the automobile. However, while most cars are made on the mainland, batteries are not. Asian manufacturers are winning the bid, including Chinese CATL, Japanese Panasonic, and South Korean LG Chem. The EU has only recently understood this crucial industrial issue, but wants to catch up quickly.
“I am confident that by 2025 the EU will be able to produce enough cells to meet the needs of the European automotive industry” advance Maros Šefčovič at the European Conference on Batteries according to Euractiv. This event had also seen Elon Musk give information on the future Semi or a possible compact Tesla in Europe.
In addition to the projects of manufacturers or specialists such as Envision or Svolt, the EU is banking on its “Airbus Batteries”. The Union will finance in particular Automotive Cells Batteries (PSA-Total), BMW and Umicore. The vice-president of the European Commission is convinced that this will be enough to power 6 million electric cars. His confidence is such that he even hopes to create an export market.
Also cleaner batteries?
The aim is not only to reduce dependence, but also to ensure control of environmental issues. Indeed, batteries also depend on metal mining, which does not meet certain pollution or social standards in some countries. “Even if we extract lithium, we should still send it to China to refine it” adds Mr Šefčovič.
Thus, in September the European Commission announced a Raw Materials Alliance. Its purpose is to use “80% lithium from European sources by 2025”. But the stakes will be colossal. In his speech of September 4, 2020, Šefčovič considered that “Europe will need 60 times more lithium and 15 times more cobalt in 2050”.