Lead and lithium-based batteries 'are critical to EU's clean energy transition'

by John Shepherd
* EU27+UK+EFTA. Source: Avicenne Energy report - 'EU battery demand and supply (2019-2030) in a global context'..
The European Union’s battery market value is set to grow from €15bn (£12.9bn) in 2019 to an estimated €35bn in 2030 – with both lead and lithium-based technologies critical to the EU’s clean energy transition, industry leaders said today.

Eurobat, the association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, said the EU lead-based battery industry is expected to retain its "strong position, while local lithium-based battery production will ramp up dramatically, making the EU self-sufficient by 2024”.

The forecast came as Eurobat formally released an independent market report by consultancy Avicenne Energy – ‘EU battery demand and supply (2019-2030) in a global context’.

Avicenne partner and director, Christophe Pillot, who conducted the study, said: "Demand for lead-based batteries will slightly grow and lead-based batteries will remain the preferred chemistry for 12V applications in automotive and in some industrial applications, such as uninterruptible power supply and telecoms.”

'Market dominance'

"By 2030, we anticipate a ten-fold market growth for lithium batteries across all applications, but almost exclusively driven by a steep increase in e-mobility.”

According to the study, the "preferred technology” for energy storage systems "will be almost exclusively lithium-based by 2030”. Motive power applications, where lead-based batteries are today still dominant, "will gradually shift to lithium-based by 2030”.

However, the study forecast that, across all levels of e-mobility, lead-based batteries "will continue to be dominant in the 12V market – both for SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) and auxiliary functionalities”. By 2030, it is estimated that only 3% of new cars will be fitted with a lithium 12V battery.

Eurobat executive director, Rene Schroeder, said the study underlined the need for EU policymakers to "create a level playing field” for differing battery chemistries, including those produced outside Europe.

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