Europe needs an electrifying battery plan for a low carbon future

Europe needs an electrifying battery plan for a low carbon future

Our shared ambition to achieve a zero carbon future and transform Europe’s economy requires a bold plan across many industries – and particularly for battery technologies.

By: Dr. Bernhard Riegel, Director of Research Development, HOPPECKE Batterien GmbH & Co. KG

We have seen massive – and welcome – investment and focus through the EU’s Batteries Alliance initiative, and the forthcoming update to batteries regulation will no doubt strengthen that commitment. However, we need to see a clear strategy that embraces all battery technologies – because one size does not fit all and they are the cornerstone for decarbonising power and mobility.

There is no doubt that today’s critical battery technologies – lead-based and lithium-ion – will remain the most important and undergo growth as we head towards the next decade and beyond.

When I spoke to the European Conference on Batteries organised by the German presidency, I was delighted by the enthusiasm for Europe’s trailblazing initiatives. At the event, I shared EUROBAT’s Battery Innovation Roadmap in part to demonstrate that we need a wide range of battery technologies, because difference batteries support a whole range of applications.

While electric vehicle (EV) batteries are understandably the centre of a great deal of attention and investment, we need to ensure that Europe maintains its leadership position across a range of strategically significant technologies – batteries that support everything from telecommunications, safety systems in EVs, to forklift trucks, trains and powerboats and back up for hospitals.

Europe’s lead battery value chain is one example where the EU already benefits from an advanced manufacturing network where nearly all of the batteries collected are fully recycled in a closed loop. The raw materials are sourced in Europe, predominantly from recycling. And as EUROBAT’s Innovation Roadmap indicates, a vast amount of new research and technological advancement is underway to support the high-performance next generation of this mainstay technology. While it may not be the poster boy for the batteries revolution, policy-makers must be careful to continue to nurture this EU success story. Alongside others it is one of the key building blocks to our low carbon future.

Read more on how industry is sourcing materials for battery production responsibly.

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