European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic sets 2025 battery self-sufficiency target
Tesla, Northvolt and others set to join existing European lithium-ion cell makers
Cell supply targets do not address challenges further up the battery supply chain
As the EU overtakes China as the largest market for electric vehicles, the need to establish a secure, low-carbon battery supply chain in Europe becomes vital. On Tuesday, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic – quoted in an article by Reuters – said that he is “confident that by 2025, the EU will be able to produce enough battery cells to meet the needs of the European automotive industry, and even to build our export capacity”.
While the EU currently hosts a small number of large-scale lithium-ion cell factors, operated by LG Chem, Samsung, and Envision AESC, there are multiple projects on the horizon. Northvolt in Sweden, and Tesla in Germany are perhaps most well-advanced, but companies including CATL, Freyr, Morrow, Total/PSA, SK Innovation and others are also progressing plans for lithium-ion battery installations on the continent.
While these projects represent an important part of the battery supply chain, there is little mention of other components of the battery supply chain. Requirements for mining, battery grade salts, precursors, electrolytes, anodes, and cathode active materials capacities are rarely revealed.
For Europe to truly become a battery powerhouse, a comprehensive look at the full battery supply chain is necessary.
Mr. Sefcovic’s 2025 ambition is nevertheless a step in the right direction.
As recently as May 2020 the European Commission stated that Europe’s global share of lithium-ion battery production capacity was set to reach 14.7% by 2024. With European electric vehicle sales accounting for almost 40% of global sales so far in 2020, this target has been revised upwards.