Germany invests € 1 billion in German and European battery production

Nov

14

2018

The German government has reserved € 1 billion to support the large-scale production of battery cells in Germany and Europe. The intention is that the German car industry will become less dependent on Asian battery producers.

Peter Altmaier, the German Minister of Economic Affairs, says that this investment should ultimately help to ensure that by 3030 about 30 percent of the need for battery cells is met by German or European producers, reports Reuters . According to the Minister, production must begin ‘as soon as possible’. In the coming months he wants to lay the foundation for the start of large-scale battery production in Europe. The first production in Germany is expected to start sometime in 2021.

Altmaier says that Germany is willing to cooperate with other European countries. The German government would already be in talks with France, Poland and Austria and there would also be talks with certain companies. According to the Minister there is interest from various parties for several battery production consortia. He thinks that 500 million euros per consortium is needed to start large-scale production. As a result, each consortium is expected to create between 1000 and 2000 jobs.

It is not yet clear which companies are involved, although Reuters reported earlier on the basis of sources that in Germany a consortium consisting of Varta Microbattery, BASF and Ford-Werke is planning to produce battery cells. Volkswagen would be willing to join this consortium, partly because the company for batteries is now heavily dependent on Asian suppliers such as LG Chem and the Chinese Contemporary Amperex Technology. Herbert Diess, the director of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen, said earlier this year that they want to rely on this dependence on Asian producers.

The German government’s call to join forces in Europe in the field of battery production is not new. A year ago , Maroš Šefčovič , the European Commissioner for the Energy Union, called for the creation of a European consortium for the production of car batteries. He stated that Europe is lagging behind China and the US when it comes to electromobility. However, Volkswagen said that it was not interested, because the batteries can be bought cheaply from abroad. However, the European Commissioner thinks the technique is too valuable to import alone. Šefčovič states that the battery market can be worth 250 billion annually by 2025.

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