Germany to support three battery cell alliances – economy minister
Germany will award to three consortiums 1 billion euros in funding it earmarked last year to support domestic battery cell production, economy minister Peter Altmaier told Reuters. The move is part of a bid to cut carmakers’ reliance on Asian supply, the news agency writes. “We’ve now reached a point where we can say that there is likely to be not only one battery cell consortium, but probably three,” Altmaier said. He declined to say which companies had the best chances of getting the earmarked funds.
Battery cell production in Germany has been flaunted as an essential step towards securing the future of the country’s mighty car industry, which currently relies on Asian suppliers. While economy minister Peter Altmaier has repeatedly called for developing battery cell production capacity across Europe, many carmakers so far have shied away from entering the market due to high initial investment costs and the overwhelming advantages that Asian manufacturers hold due to their longstanding experience. Volkswagen and Swedish car battery maker Northvolt have announced they will be forming a joint venture to build a battery cell plant in the German city of Salzgitter in VW's home state of Lower Saxony. France and Germany have already asked the European Commission to approve joint state subsidies for a cross-border battery cell consortium that includes carmaker PSA, its German subsidiary Opel and French battery maker Saft.