Dec 20, 2020

Season’s Greetings

We close the chapter of an historic year, a year full of uncertainty and challenges for all of us. But despite these challenges and looking on the brighter side, 2020 has also been a turning point for batteries and electrification. We therefore would like to share some hope and positive highlights.

The first one concerns you, the EBA250 stakeholders – the core of the European battery ecosystem – who have shown the greatest resilience despite the current pandemic affecting us all. The Euoprean Battery Alliance and the EBA250 initiative have managed to adapt to such situation and learn how to enable communication without the need of physical meetings. We are pleased to see that you have in large numbers been following these events but also between meetings kept a dialogue going.

Further key 2020 highlights depicting the progress of the European Battery Alliance that we would like to share include:

  • The proposed regulation for batteries with the aim that all batteries placed on the EU market are sustainable, circular, high-performing and safe all along their entire life cycle, that they are collected, repurposed and recycled, becoming a true source of valuable raw materials.
  • The forecasted “tipping point” in the EV market did in fact happen and, in a more dramatic way than anyone could expect. From a level of about 4% EV sales to 13% in October. This confirms the significance that we keep the momentum in building a European Battery Industry.
  • The increase of the EV sales despite an overall declining automotive market. A remarkable example lies in Germany, the largest European automotive market, where EV sales passed the bar of 20% in November this year. The significant efforts of the automotive industry to develop and launch new attractive and competitive electric models are for sure driving such a trend.
  • The overall investment in batteries in Europe kept surpassing China during 2020. It is also worth remembering the strong increase of interest from foreign companies to invest in Europe, which was highlighted in our first webinar back in May.
  • The continued efforts on the R&I initiatives Battery 2030+, the newly formed European Battery Partnership BEPA in Horizon Europe and last but not least, ETIP Batteries Europe that this month has published its Strategic Research Agenda.

At the EU level, the most important events are related to the continued transformation of the overall framework to concrete actions. Motivated by the effect of the pandemic, the European Commission took the historic decision of launching the Recovery and Resilience Package. This package main aim is to build new industries supporting a sustainable development. Consequently, even more focus in the battery sector was given, due to the key role batteries will play in the transformation of transport, industry, and power sectors. Additionally, the increase of the emission reduction target for 2030 from 40% to 55%, will further accelerate the speed of such transformation.

In December, the European Commission presented the new Battery Regulation proposal covering the entire value chain from sourcing of raw materials to recycling. The webinar that we organised for our stakeholders last week dedicated to that major topic resulted in more than 400 attendees, the highest participation so far to such online event. This confirms once again that our growing network, now gathering more than 560 companies, is fully engaged and that the need for batteries and its alignment with the regulation is key to keep it up to speed with the energy transformation.

The industry has also shown to be very active throughout the year. Supported by the BIP initiative, several projects targeting the development of raw material resources in Europe have been presented. In addition to these, new projects in other parts of the value chain have been presented. They relate for instance to refining of materials, preparation of active material, new cell manufacturing projects, battery packs and recycling projects. We are particularly happy to see that many of these initiatives have been taken in cooperation between companies along the value chain with the involvement of many different countries in Europe.

Furthermore, the activity in member countries has been high with the development of national action plans in line with the EU Battery Strategy.

We would like to end these greetings by quoting the patron of the European Battery Alliance, Vice President Maroš Šefčovič when he summarised the achievements of the European Battery Alliance in 2020:

  • In the battery field, we were starting practically from scratch, but in three years have managed to move from laggard to frontrunner.
  • In 2019, investment in Europe reached EUR 60 billion (3x China);
  • In 2020 to date, level of investments in Europe has reached EUR 25 billion (2x China);
  • Europe is well on track to become the second (after China) manufacturer of the lithium-ion battery cell by 2024, overtaking the US and the rest of Asia;
  • Thanks to the Business Investment Platform (facilitating the matchmaking under the EBA), we are moving from covering 3% to 80% of our battery-related needs for lithium by 2025.
  • With the upcoming Battery Regulation proposal, we will address responsible and sustainable sourcing of raw materials for batteries.

With this, we, from the EBA250 team, would like to thank you all for your engagement and valuable contributions this year. The holiday season ahead will be unlike any other, to conclude a year unlike any other! As we move into a new and hopefully brighter year when it comes to the health situation, we wish you, your family, and colleagues restful and peaceful moments.

We look forward to continuing working with you in the coming year. Until then, stay safe and healthy.

Merry Christmas and a fully charged New Year 

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