The European Commission has approved €3.2 billion in funding for several projects across the European Union which seek to further develop new battery technologies. The money is being sourced from several EU member states including Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Sweden. The public funding will allow for an additional investment of €5 billion from private firms.
The Commission’s Executive Vice President, Margrethe Vestager, said:
“Battery production in Europe is of strategic interest for our economy and society because of its potential in terms of clean mobility and energy, job creation, sustainability and competitiveness. The approved aid will ensure that this important project can go ahead without unduly distorting competition.”
The public money will fund research into mining and processing of raw materials, the production of advanced chemical materials, the design of battery cells and modules and how they can be integrated into systems, and finally into methods of recycling or re-purposing used batteries. Funding these types of projects is one of the missions that Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission President, set out in her manifesto earlier this year.
By investing in research and development of battery technology, the EU hopes to meet its goals of becoming a zero-carbon economy by 2050. The funding could mean that products like electric cars have a larger battery capacity allowing for travel over greater distances, and ensuring that the technology is more environmentally friendly.