The European Commission reiterated its support for the European Battery Alliance (EBA) in a bid to strengthen Europe’s strategic autonomy in key industrial ecosystems and to foster the green and digital transition.
Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, the initiator of the Battery Alliance, hosted a high-level meeting with industry representatives who proposed an Acceleration Plan set to create up to one million jobs in a European battery ecosystem worth 210 billion euros by 2022.
Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Andrew McDowell informed the Commission that the Bank expects to increase its backing of battery-related projects to more than one billion euro of financing in 2020, which matches the level of support the EIB has offered over the last decade.
The European Commission launched the European Battery Alliance in October 2017 to enable the establishment of a complete domestic battery value chain. Today the EBA brings together more than 400 industrial and innovation actors to speed up Europe’s green transition, help decarbonise the economy and further develop low carbon solutions such as electric vehicles.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the European battery ecosystem was already gaining momentum. Several industrial projects have emerged across the Member States, covering the entire value chain from lithium mining and processing to battery cells and recycling.
Vice-President Šefčovič asked to keep the momentum based on the increased uptake of electric vehicles, the expected electric vehicle production trends and EU’s prospects of self-sufficiency in the lithium industry.
The Commission pledged to continue to mobilise all industrial participants, Member States and the European Investment Bank to ensure the successful implementation of ongoing investments. Vice-President Šefčovič mentioned some forward-looking initiatives that have already brought impressive results including the Important Project of the Common European Interest, the Business Investment Platform led by EIT-InnoEnergy and the Smart Specialisation Platform.
The Commission will work to provide a favourable environment for the uptake of the European battery industry by establishing a fit-for-future regulatory framework and implementing the circular economy agenda for all batteries produced or sold in Europe. In addition, the Commission will come up with a critical raw materials action plan and will work closely with the industry to remove bottlenecks in critical raw materials supply chains through a dedicated alliance.
“The corona crisis has further highlighted the importance of the rationale behind the European Battery Alliance,” commented Vice-President Šefčovič. “I am pleased to see that the private sector has kept the momentum thanks to the traction created by the Alliance. Accelerating our work is both, possible and needed,” he concluded.