Friday February 26, 2021

EU approves €2.9b aid for e-car battery industry

Published : 27 Jan 2021, 01:21

  DF News Desk

File Photo: Business Finland.

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday approved 2.9 billion euros in subsidies from 12 member states to develop the electric vehicle battery industry, reported Xinhua.

The project, called "European Battery Innovation," was jointly prepared by Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. The public funding is expected to unlock an additional 9 billion euros in private investments.

The commission said the project will cover the whole production chain, from mineral extraction to design, battery manufacturing and recycling.

This is the second important European project in the battery value chain, following the approval in December 2019 of the EU's first batteries project with seven member states participating, according to Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition and Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for A Europe fit for the Digital Age.

"We will not recover from this crisis by rebuilding the world, as we knew it before the pandemic. We now have the historic chance to build a greener, more digital and resilient Europe," said Vestager. "Electric vehicles will play a key role in this."

The project will allow non-European businesses such as Tesla to benefit from EU investment. In all, 42 companies, active in one or more of the 12 countries, will directly participate in this project. They include well-known players such as BMW, Fiat and Northvolt, but also small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.

Vestager said the direct participants will engage with over 150 indirect partners all over Europe, including SMEs, universities and research organizations. They will share results and knowledge gained in events, publications and collaborations, and they will open certain pilot facilities for interested third parties to test their products.

Underpinned by supportive policies and technological advances, the global electric vehicle fleet expanded significantly over the last decade.

In 2019, electric cars accounted for 2.6 percent of global car sales, with China (at 4.9 percent) and Europe (at 3.5 percent) setting new records in electric vehicle market share, according to the International Energy Agency.