European Commission approves support for battery value chain
The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules an Important Project of Common European interest (IPCEI) jointly notified by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Sweden to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.
The seven member states will provide in the coming years up to approximately €3.2 billion in funding for this project, which is expected to unlock an additional €5 billion in private investments. The completion of the overall project is planned for 2031 (with differing timelines for each sub-project).
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President “Europe fit for the Digital Age” and commissioner in charge of competition policy, said, "Battery production in Europe is of strategic interest for our economy and society because of its potential in terms of clean mobility and energy, job creation, sustainability, and competitiveness. Our Important Projects of Common European Interest smooth the way for public authorities and industries from several member states to come together and design ambitious innovation projects with positive spillover effects across industrial sectors and regions. The approved aid will ensure that this important project can go ahead without unduly distorting competition.”
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 cooperation 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.”
The project will involve 17 direct participants, mostly industrial actors, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), some of which with activities in more than one member state. The direct participants will closely cooperate with each other and with more than 70 external partners, such as SMEs and public research organizations across Europe.
The project participants and their partners will focus their work on four areas: (1) Raw and advanced materials: The project aims to develop sustainable innovative processes allowing extraction, concentration, refining, and purification of ores to generate high-purity raw materials. With respect to advanced materials (such as cathodes, anodes, and electrolytes), the project aims to enhance existing materials or create new ones, to be used in innovative battery cells. (2) Cells and modules: The project aims to develop innovative cells and modules designed to meet the safety and performance required for both automotive and non-automotive applications (e.g., stationary energy storage, power tools, etc.). (3) Battery systems: The project aims to develop innovative battery systems including battery management software and algorithms as well as innovative test methods. (4) Repurposing, recycling, and refining: The project aims to design safe and innovative processes for collection, dismantling, repurposing, recycling, and refining of recycled materials.