Batteries: building on a European success story


Karsten Kurz

Director of Environmental Affairs Europe

Exide Technologies

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Batteries: building on a European success story

As businesses throughout Europe grapple with the complexities of a new world order, it is important to focus on how we transition to a low carbon future.

The pandemic has been a wake-up call with the realisation that we need to build and maintain strong and secure supply chains – with products sourced, made and recycled in Europe.

Policymakers call this strategic autonomy. For many manufacturers it is simply good practice to build and secure reliable supply chains and ensure your employees are well trained and supported. In Europe, the lead battery industry has built and earned a reputation for reliability and resilience over many years. Our products have helped drive forward industrial modernisation and underpinned growth.

The same applies today as we prepare to transition to a new industrial age of electrification and decarbonisation. This transformation may well be hastened by the impact of the pandemic but it also changes the very nature of doing business in important ways. Not only do we need to deliver a low carbon future, we must do so based on a solid foundation of EU -based companies and technologies.

We must look to create battery energy storage on a huge scale. To do so we need a range of battery technologies. One size does not fit all. Advanced lead batteries are already supporting multiple renewable energy storage projects. While the Consortium for Battery Innovation is driving research to make these batteries even more effective and long-lasting.

Lead batteries are intrinsic to energy storage, as data centres, telecoms networks and hospitals all rely on high-quality lead battery energy storage to function. In the automotive industry, lead batteries are enabling clean mobility. Many vehicles continue to require start-stop and ignition batteries and most new electric vehicles include a back-up lead battery to power essential safety functions and battery management systems

All this is achieved through an innovative and established lead battery industry that employs more than 20,000 people across 15 EU states. Europe benefits from a secure and reliable lead battery value chain, where manufacturing, research and development, innovation and recycling occur in the EU and 100% of all lead batteries collected are recycled.

This is not only an example of solid industrial success. This is the circular economy in action. This is an industry funding innovation for new technology. This is an industry investing in people and skills. As per the rationale behind the European Battery Alliance, this is an industry that is ‘strategically autonomous’, delivering clean energy and green growth.

Our contribution to the EU’s sustainable future should be recognised and supported as we transition to a new industrial age.

Read more about how batteries can recharge the European economy.

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