German economy minister Altmaier and EU Commissioner Šefčovič call for European "Airbus for batteries"
German economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier and Maroš Šefčovič, vice President of the EU Commission and head of the "Energy Union" project, say Europe has to develop joint battery production capacities to ensure the continent retains its high share in value creation in a future mobility world. “We have to follow an ‘Airbus for batteries’ approach,” Šefčovič said at a visit to Altmaier’s ministry in Berlin, arguing that the international European aviation company serves as an example for joint European industrial policy. The EU Commission's Vice President said “we want the best cars in the world manufactured here in Europe,” adding that this requires to develop all relevant capacities for building electric cars and the infrastructure that comes with them, such as charging stations. German minister Altmaier said “we have to do everything it takes to make alternative engines competitive” and build factories for advanced battery production “not just in one but in many European countries". He added that there will be concrete results on this front “before the summer break". At their meeting ahead of the German government’s Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue in Berlin, Altmaier and Šefčovič also discussed economic perspectives for European coal regions after the fossil energy source is phased out. Šefčovič said the pair had met with German state premier Dietmar Woidke from Brandenburg, where Germany’s eastern coal region Lusatia is located, discussing “the transition for Lusatia". The region faces the same challenges as coal regions in six other member states and perspectives have to be developed in parallel, Šefčovič said.
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