Germany misses out on rise of battery cell production in Europe
Concret plans for starting battery cell production are rife across Europe but Germany risks missing out on the rise of an industry branch that will be crucial for its mighty car industry, Stefan Hajek and Angela Hennersdorf write in the WirtschaftsWoche. The CEOs of important German car industry companies like Bosch, Daimler or Continental constantly reiterate that batteries will be a key component of the industry’s future but shy away from announcing concrete investment plans. The demand for lithium-ion-batteries by the car industry is set to massively increase in the next years, meaning that the VW group alone could need half of the world’s newly produced cells by 2020. Supply bottlenecks already lead Asian manufacturers to break agreed supply deals for Europe and instead auction their cells to the highest bidder in China, the authors say. While the EU pushes for a common European battery consortium and Swedish and Swiss companies press ahead, German carmakers are reluctant to agree to the necessary billon-euro-investments. “No manager of a listed company dares to do this,” a sales manager of a supplier told WirtschaftsWoche. “They’d rather go into retirement with a diesel.”
Read the article in German here.
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