200 million euros for battery cells

EU Commission wants to push research ahead

The EU continues to lag behind countries such as China in research on battery cells. The EU Commission now wants to change this and is planning a funding package of almost 200 million euros over the next two years.

EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic hopes to start next year with a launch of various projects to research battery cells. That is what he said on Monday in Brussels.

Companies buy battery cells from the Far East

184 million euros shall be made available for this purpose. 114 million euros will come from the EU’s “Horizon” research program. A further 70 million euros shall be provided by the EU budget in 2020.

Especially Asian countries like China are regarded as pioneers in the development of battery cells. Car manufacturers from the EU therefore prefer to buy the cells in Asia and then assemble them into batteries. These cells are then used in electric cars, for example – and the trend is rising. It is because the number of electrically powered cars is growing, even if only slowly, also in Europe. So the demand for batteries and the corresponding cells is also rising.

Last year, several EU states and representatives from industry launched a battery alliance. The aim is to expand research and development. Companies participating in the research projects shall be supported by the state in order to remain competitive with Asian countries. The prerequisite for this is that at least two EU states are working on a project and that it is an innovative technology. The costs until the first employees are hired could then be covered in full.

Contribution to climate protection

The further development of batteries for electric cars could make an important contribution to climate protection. The World Climate Council of the United Nations recently demanded vehemently that global warming be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Otherwise there would be devastating consequences for the earth.

Sefcovic wants to make a contribution to this by providing support. He said they wanted to do the best they could in all sectors of the economy.