EUROPE IS SEEKING AIRBUS-LIKE ALLIANCE TO BOOST ELECTRIC CAR BATTERY DEVELOPMENTDate: 2017-10-05
The European Commission is warning that the continent is falling behind in battery development as the demand for electric cars increases.
As a result, the European Union is seeking to create an Airbus-like consortium of vehicle and technology manufacturers to develop and build electric vehicle batteries in the future. The ultimate aim here is to keep up with Asian and US markets.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the European Commission vice president in charge of energy, Maros Sefcovic, stated that we will be hosting a summit on October 11th for executives from car manufacturers, chemical companies and battery manufacturers to explore Airbus-like cooperation between different sectors.
The EU could potentially support these efforts with us to £2.2 billion ($1.95 billion) worth of funding.
When speaking to the FT, Sefcovic said that as electric car demands continue to grow, Europe cannot afford to be left behind by Asian and American battery producers and that the region needs its own battery cell production facilities.
Unlike the US, China and Japan, there is not a single factory for building the latest lithium-ion cells and batteries in Europe. Investment bank Goldman Sachs has said previously that the estimated demand for lithium-ion batteries will reach $40 billion (£35.5 billion) by 2025.
According to Sefcovic, Europe cannot have any "kodak moments" where an industry fails to keep up with the latest technology and end up struggling. Instead, he wants to see the European manufacturers group together and pursue economies of scale similar to how they did in the aerospace industry when creating the Airbus.
"What we need is an Airbus for batteries. In the 1960s, we had a lot of smaller companies with cutting edge but what they missed was the scale. We needed the Germans, the French and other Europeans to get together and to develop what today is a marvellous plane."