European Commission and BEPA launch sustainable BATT4EU partnership

29 June 2021

The European Commission and the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), officially launching BATT4EU. This partnership will look to the development of a competitive, sustainable and circular European industrial-battery value chain. The venture aims to develop a European research and innovation ecosystem for batteries, benefitting stationary and mobile applications.

As the EU aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, batteries play a key role in the clean-energy transition by helping to decarbonise transport. They will also enable greater integration of renewable-energy sources in the electricity mix. However, as the demand for batteries continues to grow, their production is still highly concentrated in Asia. Less than 1% of global lithium-ion battery cells are currently manufactured in Europe, compared to over 90% in Asia, according to BATT4EU.

Europe, therefore, needs to catch up in this area and this new initiative seeks to put ‘environmental sustainability and circularity at the heart of its battery production in order to address the ambitions of the green-energy transition.’ The motivation behind the BATT4EU project is that ‘only a long-lasting and coordinated effort involving industry, research and the public sector can live up to the challenge and bring predictability to the European battery stakeholders.’

Sustainable, localised sourcing

In the automotive sector specifically, many carmakers, including Volvo, Volkswagen, Renault and Porsche, are seeking to improve sustainability by bringing battery production closer to their EU vehicle-manufacturing plants. Along with other automotive manufacturers, they could benefit from the €925 million funding that the BATT4EU partnership has pledged for research and innovation to develop a variety of battery technologies.

‘With more than 165 members, BEPA shows that in Europe there is great interest as well as know-how for the development of a competitive battery value chain. Thanks to BATT4EU, the European battery community will work hand in hand to prepare Europe to manufacture and commercialise by 2030 the next-generation battery technologies that will enable the rollout of the zero-emission mobility and renewable-energy storage, thus directly contributing to the success of the European Green Deal,’ commented Michael Lippert, chair of the BEPA.

‘The BATT4EU partnership contributes directly to the goals of the European Green Deal by enabling widespread adoption of e-mobility and stationary electrical-energy storage. It will also create economic growth and jobs in a circular economy by developing an innovative, competitive and sustainable battery-manufacturing industry in Europe,’ added Rosalinde van der Vlies, director of the EU Commission’s ‘Clean Planet’ directorate.