Companies from a dozen EU member states will commit the public funds in a bid to come up with novel battery chemistries and production methods as well as recycling and circular economy innovation.
The world’s second largest battery market is mulling strict regulation of what type of products can be sold within it. The bloc wants to tighten rules on using hazardous materials and would encourage circular economy approaches. The scope of the commission’s proposal would also affect the design of devices, with phones, laptops and other portable gadgets without removable batteries set to be prohibited.
Australian company Infinity Lithium has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Battery Alliance to promote its lithium mine project in San José, Extremadura. It would be the first lithium project to obtain European financing but has already raised the hackles of local environmentalists and residents.
The move has been welcomed as a step in the right direction by lobby group SolarPower Europe nevertheless, particularly as it envisages bringing together EU low-carbon businesses. The outline ambition will now be considered by the European Parliament.
The facility is set to open this year and will offer battery suppliers digitalization research and manufacturing consulting. Smaller manufacturers will be able to use shared laboratories for research.
Initially, the company will construct a 16 GWh factory plus a joint venture fab with Volkswagen in Germany, which will also have a throughput of 16 GWh. Both factories could be extended to tap further into the large market for battery cells in Europe.
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