1st Franco-German Battery Cell Collaboration
|Source: CATL of China|
Pilot Battery Cell Plant in France To Start
France and Germany are joining forces to produce batteries for electric cars. France will host a pilot plant. There are plans to build plants in both Germany and France. This is part of a Pan European project to defeat Asian dominance of the battery cell industry for electric vehicles. The European nations want to cut dependence on Asian batteries. China's CATL plans to start battery cell operations in a plant in Germany in 2022. Germany and France also want to protect domestic jobs that are being lost to the shift away from combustion engines. The details on what is the first, cross border, battery cell consortium in Europe are expected to be announced on Thursday, September 19th.
Battery Production Capacity Constricting Electric Vehicle Market in Europe
In Europe, mass production of electric cars is being constricted by a lack of battery production capacity. Importing batteries from Asia is very costly. The dynamic has resulted in the Franco-German battery cell consortium. Germany is expected to invest 1 billion euros and France, 700 million euros ($1 = .90 euros). Meanwhile, there is a European rival. Sweden's Northvolt hopes to challenge Asia with a huge, multimillion dollar plant that will open in 2020. It will have 32GWh capacity to produce battery cells by 2023.
France and Germany have asked the European Union to okay state subsidies for the consortium which includes carmaker PSA, its German subsidiary Opel, French battery maker Saft, Siemens and Manz. The battery cell consortium is designed to be modeled on the success of Airbus. It began producing aircraft fifty years ago as a Pan European project with public support.