EU says it could be self-sufficient in electric vehicle batteries by 2025

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In this news, we discuss the EU says it could be self-sufficient in electric vehicle batteries by 2025.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union could produce enough batteries by 2025 to power its rapidly growing fleet of electric vehicles without relying on imported cells, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday.

As part of its plan to become climate neutral by 2050, the EU wants to boost local production of the building blocks of green industries – including hydrogen to make low-carbon steel and batteries to power clean vehicles.

“I am confident that by 2025 the EU will be able to produce enough battery cells to meet the needs of the European automotive industry, and even strengthen our export capacity,” Sefcovic said during the European online battery conference.

Today China is home to around 80% of the world’s lithium-ion cell production, but Europe’s capacity is set to grow rapidly.

Europe has 15 large-scale battery cell factories under construction, including factories of the Swedish company Northvolt in Sweden and Germany, the German factory of the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL and the second factory of the South company. Korean SK Innovation in Hungary.

Sefcovic said that by 2025, planned European facilities would produce enough cells to power at least 6 million electric vehicles.

While the coronavirus pandemic has seen overall car sales plummet, combined sales of batteries and plug-in hybrid cars in Europe are expected to roughly double this year, to reach one million units, according to the NGO Transport & Environment.

With the Commission forecasting 13 million low-emission vehicles on European roads by 2025, additional investment will be needed.

“We need to make significant investments in creating a comprehensive European supply chain and labor market to support battery factories,” said Jesper Wigardt, vice president of communications for Northvolt.

Sefcovic said the EU’s 750 billion euros ($ 890 billion) coronavirus recovery fund was a “plug-and-play tool” to support projects.

Brussels will propose standards for the carbon footprint of batteries next month, while an EU private-public alliance aims to boost domestic supplies of raw materials needed to manufacture cells. This follows a similar EU program for battery projects launched in 2017.

(1 USD = 0.8428 euros)

Reporting by Kate Abnett; edited by David Evans

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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