Europe approves $3.2 billion to support battery R&D

Dec 10, 2019 02:53 PM ET
  • The European Commission has approved use of capital given by seven member nations to back Europe-wide R&D projects across the lithium-ion battery value chain, with the purpose of possibly unlocking an extra $5 billion in private sector investment
Europe approves $3.2 billion to support battery R&D
Image: Friends of Europe/Flickr

Seven EU member countries -- Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Finland and Sweden – have agreed to supply around $3.2 billion to support research to lithium-ion batteries throughout the continent. The principal areas of focus include the processing and extraction of raw materials, production of innovative chemical substances, cell and module design, system integration and battery recycling.

Research projects are meant to encourage the growth of innovative and renewable liquid-electrolyte and solid-state batteries, with a focus on safety and ecological issues. The participants will aim to facilitate the development of longer-lasting batteries which charge more rapidly than current products.

The initiative is scheduled to wrap up in 2031 though sub-projects will be finished along different timelines, the European Commission stated.

Rising demand

Approving the state aid will ensure projects proceed smoothly, as stated Vestager. As a designated important project of common European interest, the initiative – that the commission described as ""ambitious and risky"" -- will probably aim to ""deliver beyond the state-of-the-art innovation"" through the whole battery value chain whilst creating strong industrial ventures and expediting lab-to-market innovation.

The new projects, that follow the late-2017 launching of the European Battery Alliance, will involve 17 industrial participants operating with much more than 70 external partners. Collectively, they will attempt to develop innovative technology and encouraging policies to make sure that the EU benefits from rising battery demand.

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