One out of twenty Europeans work in the automotive industry and the European Union believes that unless they make significant investments in battery technology, these jobs are at risk. As it was officially announced last Monday, the EU intends to allow state subsidies for electric battery research and will offer billions to those companies that wish to build factories.
Maroš Sefcovic, Energy Vice President of the European Commission, commented on the anniversary of the founding of the European Battery Alliance, “Batteries will be equally needed for the 21st century automotive industry the same way as it was the combustion engine in the 20th century,” and he added, “In order for the EU to maintain its leading position in the automotive sector and clean energy systems, it must have independent capacity to develop and produce electric batteries”.
European car manufacturers are subject to increasing pressure to keep up with the evolution of electric vehicles. However, the EU’s goal for the coming years is to reduce dependence on batteries made in Asia, particularly in China and South Korea, and to invest in the European electric battery products.
The Swedish Northvolt battery manufacturer, which has already begun manufacturing the largest lithium-ion battery factory in Europe in its facilities in Scandinavia, has also announced that it will ask the European Investment Bank for additional funds to accelerate the construction of a larger plant.