EU chief pledges expansion of investment in battery sector in 'Horizon Europe' plan

by John Shepherd
EC vice-president Maroš Šefčovič. Photo: Mauro Bottaro / EC Audiovisual Service
The European Commission today announced plans for a major expansion of investment to bring on stream a new generation of "sustainable, high-performing batteries”.

A "significant portion” of future EU spending on research and innovation will be earmarked for battery technology, Commission vice-president for interinstitutional relations, Maroš Šefčovič, told the European Conference on Batteries in Brussels.

And Šefčovič said the EU will present ambitious proposals on transparency, ethical sourcing of raw materials, the carbon-footprint of batteries, and recycling, which will set "a de facto global standard in one of the fastest growing and most critical global markets”.

Šefčovič did not reveal the scale of the batteries funding boost, which will come from the EU’s four-year Horizon Europe research programme, but he said the programme is being finalised before it comes into force in 2021.

New gigafactories

Meanwhile, Šefčovič said some 15 new battery gigafactories are being built across Europe, which "will provide enough cells to power at least six million electric vehicles by 2025”.

"The scale of investment, necessary for achieving this, is enormous,” he added.

He said EU investment was needed across "the whole value chain”, including extraction and processing of critical raw materials, manufacturing of vital materials such as cathodes, anodes, and separators and end-of-life treatment and recycling facilities.

Proposed new EU laws governing the battery industry, the Batteries Regulation, were originally expected this month and are now set for publication next month.

Related articles in our archive: