FRANKFURT -- Europe will need to produce nearly one-third of the world’s supply of battery cells for electric vehicles by 2030 to maintain competitiveness, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said.
Analysts say the transition to low- and zero-emissions cars to meet EU targets will require up to 500 gigawatt-hours of cells, the building blocks of batteries, which represent the greatest economic input in an EV. That would represent at least a tenfold increase in current European capacity.
Most automakers now rely on Asia-based companies such as LG Chem, Samsung and CATL for their cells.
Tesla, which currently sources cells from outside suppliers, says it will manufacture 100 gigawatt hours of proprietary cells by 2022. But there are also several home-grown European projects in the works, including a collaboration between PSA Group and Saft, a unit of energy company Total, and the Swedish company Northvolt, which is partnering with Volkswagen on a cell factory in Germany.
A key investment vehicle is the European Battery Alliance, an initiative from the EU that was launched in October 2017, which aims to create a competitive, sustainable and innovative EV battery ecosystem along the entire value chain, from raw materials through to recycling.
“More than 20,000 jobs could thus be created in the 2020s,” Altmaier said in prepared remarks for an online event hosted by the European industry group ACEA. “We want Germany and Europe to account for 30 percent of the global production of battery cells.”
Automakers could face a 50 percent cut in European CO2 fleet emissions by 2030, equating to an NEDC target of 47.5 grams per kilometer, a sharp reduction over the 122.4 grams recorded for 2019.