With Europe expected to lead the world in electric-car sales for a second straight year, a rush to build a battery supply chain from scratch is playing out across the region.
After years of ceding the EV battery business to foreign companies, Europe wants in. Prospective manufacturers are popping up in the Nordic region, Germany, France, the U.K. and Poland in a transcontinental competition to reduce the dominance of China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and South Korea's LG Energy Solution.
Fueled by state support of at least 6.1 billion euros ($7.3 billion) and investment plans totaling 10 times that in just one year, the race is on for a regional champion to emerge.
The contestants include startups Northvolt in Sweden, Britishvolt and France's Automotive Cells, and powerhouses Tesla Inc. and Volkswagen Group.
BloombergNEF estimates the continent could see its share of global battery production rise to 31 percent by 2030 from just 7 percent last year.
"We are creating a new industry in Europe; we are creating a completely new ecosystem," Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice president overseeing the battery initiative, said in an interview. "The investments are really pouring in."
Sefcovic estimated the planned investments just for 2019 to be about 60 billion euros ($71 billion), triple that being spent in China. Those eye-watering totals cover the entire supply chain, from materials and cells to assembly and recycling.