The European Commission has given the green light for seven member states to provide €3.2 billion (£2.7bn) in public support for battery research and innovation.
Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden will provide the funding in the coming years, with the overall project, planned for completion in 2031, expected to unlock an additional €5 billion (£4.2bn) in private investments.
The project supports the development of innovative and sustainable technologies for lithium-ion batteries that last longer, have shorter charging times and are safer and more environmentally friendly than those currently available.
The EU says it involves “ambitious and risky” research and development activities to delivery beyond state-of-the-art innovation across the batteries value chain, from mining and processing the raw materials, production of advanced chemical materials, design of battery cells and modules and their integration into smart systems, to recycling and repurposing of used batteries.
The project will also target the improvement of environmental sustainability in all segments of the battery value chain, with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint and the waste generated along the different production processes.
Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, said: “Our focus on scaling up innovation under the European Battery Alliance is yielding strong industrial partnerships. Thanks to intensive efforts by seven member states, industry and the Commission, Europe’s first major pan-European battery ecosystem is emerging, with lead projects in all segments of this strategic value chain.
“We have found the right recipe for our 21st century industrial policy: strong co-operation between industrial actors, concerted action to accelerate lab-to-market innovation, joined-up financial instruments from both, private and public sectors and a fit-for-future regulatory framework to underpin a stronger European knowledge-based economy.”