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European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Andrew McDowell, confirmed the Bank’s commitment to supporting a strong, independent European battery industry. The alliance was initiated by European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in 2017,

who also hosted the meeting.

The Bank expects to increase its backing of battery-related projects to more than EUR 1 billion of financing in 2020. This matches the level of support the EIB has offered over the last decade.  Since 2010, battery projects financed by the EIB totalled EUR 950 million and supported EUR 4.7 billion of overall project costs. This support benefits from a successful partnership with the European Commission which has enabled new financing instruments such as the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Programme, a tool to facilitate the demonstration phase of innovative energy projects, including battery pilot lines.

The production capacity of EIB lithium ion battery cells projects - both those already approved or signed and those under appraisal stands at 51 GWh. This compares to a current annual production capacity of 49 GWh in the EU (US: 49 GWh; China: 447 GWh). In addition, the EIB finances the development of new materials, improved battery management systems and battery recycling.

Batteries - key for decarbonisation and future technologies.   State-of-the-art batteries, will be at the heart of Europe’s green transition and already contribute to the decarbonisation of the EU economy. They hold key solutions for low-carbon technologies such as electric vehicles. The EU’s entire battery industry employs more than 30.000 people across 14 countries. Further developing an independent European battery ecosystem would allow the Union to play an important role in a market which is projected to grow to EUR 250 billion/year by 2025. Additionally, a secure local battery capacity would boost the European automotive industry and safeguard thousands of jobs.

However, battery energy storage in Europe – still in the early phases of its development – is facing challenges in manufacturing, shipping, and R&D due to the economic fall-out of the Coronavirus pandemic. Critical battery components are manufactured in China, either by domestic or international producers, and car makers in Europe suffer from severe disruptions to their supply chain. As a consequence, European car manufacturers had to lower their production already before the COVID-19 crisis hit Europe because they ran short in supplies of battery cells.