Europe must create an innovative, sustainable battery-making infrastructure if it is to realise its goal of becoming a global leader in energy storage and e-mobility, the vice-president for the European Commission’s project team known as Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič said on June 21.
The comments came during his opening speech at the High Level Industrial Forum of Intersolar Europe, the annual industry conference and exhibition in Munich.
Speaking after the event one commentator said. “These are fine words and noble intentions. But Europe is already a decade too late. You only have to see the scale and economies of scale that companies such as China’s CATL have to realise Europe can’t seriously compete with them.”
Šefčovič reiterated the commission’s commitment to creating an innovative, sustainable battery ecosystem in Europe, already translated into the first tangible results under the industry-led European Battery Alliance.
He told delegates: “There is one critical component in Europe’s e-mobility value chain which is still weak in our endeavour to become a global leader: batteries.
“We must be ready to compete on the global market. And this implies developing manufacturing capacities and creating an innovative, sustainable battery ecosystem in Europe.
“I strongly believe that clean, Made-in-Europe batteries are about to charge our economy with green energy, green jobs and green innovation.”
Organizers of ees Europe gave a nod to this battery-making ecosystem with a corner of the event dedicated to battery production. It included exhibitors showcasing emerging manufacturing techniques and technology.
The space was introduced to highlight Europe’s need to make its own batteries if it is to meet demand and slash costs to become competitive with the rest of the world.
While Asia remains the manufacturing hub for batteries, plans for gigafactories are underway in Europe, with a number of gigawatt-size battery factories scheduled to start operating on the continent by 2020, and another three developments rumoured, including Tesla.