Battery production in Europe: will the EU get a seat at the table?
If the predictions are correct, by 2030 more batteries will be produced in the European Union (EU) than are needed to meet the demand for plug-in cars. This is an incredible feet, because not so long ago there was little industrial focus on the energy carriers of the future. The past years, a lot has changed and Europe is making a serious push to become a dominant player in this field. However, is Europe still in time to join the race, or will we not be able to catch up with the Asian frontrunners?
EU battery production to grow significantly
The stories of EV battery megafactories sprouting up like mushrooms are not just myths. There is a lot of planning and investing going on in countries such as Sweden, Germany, France, Hungary and Slovakia.
A lot of storage capacity is needed. It is expected that the EU will need 443 GWh of batteries annually in 2030, of which about 90% will be for plug-in cars. In 2020, the figure was just 34 GWh. The current production capacity in Europe is 26 GWh (2020) and this is expected to grow to about 500 GWh in 2030. Europe is thus moving from being a net importer to an exporter and is also becoming more important on the world stage. Europe currently accounts for 6% of world production. This will most likely grow to 16% in 2029.
Who will produce all this?
So, generally speaking, good news, but who will produce these batteries in Europe? It is all well and good to have the factories here, but who profits and pulls the strings? It is a mixed picture; European companies and startups like Saft, Northvolt, Morrow and Verkor are ambitious and working hard to grow. But the biggest companies are and remain branches of overseas giants; CATL and AESC (China), Tesla (US), Samsung, LG Chem and SK Innovation (South Korea). These are all nice companies with good products and offer many jobs in the EU. But as a result, as long as these companies reign in the EU, the dream of European strategic independence remains nothing more than…a dream.
More information on this article
Want to read more about battery production in the EU? This document from the European Technology and Innovation Platform is an interesting read to start with. For questions regarding this article you can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your question using the form below.
Subsidy opportunities for the development of batteries
The transition to sustainable mobility can only be achieved by further developing batteries and increasing their use. Companies and other organisations can make smart use of national and European subsidies, such as the Innovation Fund, FCH JU, and Horizon Europe. Curious about the subsidy opportunities for your project? Get in touch!