France and Germany to support battery cell consortium
France and Germany have asked the European Commission to approve state subsidies for a cross-border battery cell consortium, including carmaker PSA with its German subsidiary Opel and French battery maker Saft, reports Michael Nienaber for Reuters. The two countries have earmarked 1.7 billion euros to support company alliances to help reduce European carmakers’ dependence on Asian suppliers and protect jobs at risk from the shift away from combustion engines, a German official said. The economy ministries of both countries sent a letter of intent to the European Union’s executive body asking it to give a provisional go-ahead without giving a sum for the planned state funding.
Germany’s economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier last year set the target of covering 30 percent of global battery cell demand with production “in Germany and Europe” by 2030 to make the continent more independent from Asian imports. Most German companies, including the nation’s carmakers, have so far shied away from the necessary investments worth billions of euros needed to launch a large-scale battery cell production. But while VW called for a European cell production last year, leading industry supplier Bosch decided against it.