The European Commission has approved 3.2bn euros of state aid from seven EU countries to help fund new research and innovation in battery technology.
Projects in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden have all received financial approval to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.
The overall project is slated to be completed in 2031 and in addition to the 3.2bn euro in public funding, private investments are expected to bring in an extra five billion euro.
Executive vice-president in charge of promoting technology in Europe and the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager recently announced the new initiative during which she explained how important battery production is to Europe, saying:
“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. The approved aid will ensure that this important project can go ahead without unduly distorting competition.”
According to the European Commission, the project involves “ambitious and risky” research and development into all parts of battery production including mining and process raw materials, producing advanced chemical materials, designing battery cells and modules as well as recycling and repurposing used batteries.
Demand for batteries is at an all time high thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and increased consumer interest in electric vehicles.