where are European batteries made, here is our complete map

What if Europe became a major player in the production of batteries for electric vehicles? This is what we are looking at today, taking stock of the various battery production plant projects in France, Germany and elsewhere.

If Europe really wants a future rich in connected vehicles, the old continent’s dependence on battery manufacturers will only grow. Indeed, with the vast majority of battery factories present today in Asia (CATL in China, LG Chem in South Korea, Panasonic in Japan), it is urgent to plan for a future where production will be more local. From today, more than one in ten new vehicles sold in Europe is 100% electricand this figure is set to rise significantly by 2030.

Whether it is to limit the carbon footprint of the production of an electric car, or even toensure energy independence in case of conflict, the European Union opens its arms to welcome the industry giants of the sector in different countries. We are going in this dossier to take stock of what is planned for the current decade, and will try to imagine a future where European electric vehicles will be equipped with batteries manufactured on site.

Volkswagen wants to be taken seriously in the electrification race

It is no longer a secret today: the group Volkswagen massively electrified. Indeed, in addition to the many models recently released under one of the group’s brands (Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq, Porsche Taycan or Cupra Born), the German giant is also a stakeholder in the consortium Ionitywhich is rolling out fast charging stations across Europe.

The initial plan of the Volkswagen group planned two battery factories in Europe, but in 2021, new announcements have been made. These are today six different plants that are planned by Volkswagen across Europeand we know the details of three of them so far.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz // Source : Volkswagen

The German site of Salzgitter has also seen its work begin in the summer of 2022and the objective of this plant is to produce batteries for the brand’s vehicles by 2025. Volkswagen has created a new company for this purpose called “PowerCo”, which is now responsible for installing the various battery production plants for the group.

This first German “PowerCo” plant should produce up to 40 GWh of batteries per yearwhile the Swedish factory in partnership with Northvolt has already been delivering its first batteries since the end of 2021. The third confirmed site is in Valencia, Spain, and the other three factories do not yet have a location. location revealed to the public.

All of Volkswagen’s factories should eventually produce up to 240 GWh of batteries each year in Europe. This would be enough to equip three million electric cars with an 80 kWh batteryjust that.

Tesla would have the largest battery factory on the continent

Another major player in the production of batteries in Europe is a manufacturer that is not European: Tesla. Pioneer in electric vehicles, it is not a surprise to note that the American manufacturer wishes to establish itself in the four corners of the world to produce its vehicles.

So far, Tesla produces its batteries in the United States or Asiawhen he does do not buy from other suppliers. Nevertheless, the future requirements of the european union for obtaining an ecological bonus will potentially be linked to the production of a vehicle and its batteries on the old continent.

That is why Tesla plans to build a battery factory right next to its Berlin Gigafactory, in Germany. For his introduction, the battery production plant would have an annual capacity of 100 GWh, with a possible extension to 250 GWh. Just with 100 GWh of capacity per year, it would be like this 800,000 Tesla Model Ys that could be produced for Europe, with batteries from this factory.

The Berlin factory is in operation as shown in one of the photos published by Tesla

Considering the current production of the Berlin Gigafactory (around 30,000 vehicles in the last quarter of 2022), it is difficult to imagine such a large battery factory today. Nevertheless, Tesla has already shown its ability to drastically increase its production rate cars in the past, and producing seven times more vehicles in 2030 than in 2022 in Berlin is far from unattainable.

Be careful though: before the final validation of this European factory, Tesla may choose another continent to set up its battery factory, according to the rules and policies of the moment. The Biden plan right now calls for a reduction of taxes for electric vehicles produced entirely in the USAand Tesla may pause its European battery plant in favor of a North American plant.

Three factories planned in France

Cock-a-doodle Doo : France will indeed have its own battery manufacturing plants, since three of them are already planned in France. Very close to Dunkirk, the French industrial company Verkor announced in February 2022 the construction of a low-carbon battery factory, with an initial capacity of 16 GWh in 2025.

This production will equip over 300,000 electric city cars from 2025and has the ambition to produce 50 GWh of batteries in 2030. This production will be partly intended for Renault, which has signed a strategic partnership with Verkor. The French group also has another partner in Douai to produce batteries: Envision AESC.

Renault R5 Concept // Source : Renault

The Douai site is strategic, with the proximity of the port of Dunkirk for the supply of raw materials by boat on the one hand, and the Renault factory located 100 meters away on the other. Finally, the third French factory is also in Hauts-de-France, where a project led by ACC (Automotive Cells Co.) is in the process of being built.

The start of production would be for the end of 2023, with production of at least 8 GWh in the first year. By 2030, this ACC plant would be able to produce between 24 and 32 GWh of batteries per year, more or less enough to equip 500,000 Renault Zoe or Peugeot e-208.

Germany would become Europe’s largest battery producer

If France and its three battery factories by the end of the decade can impress, it is nothing compared to Germany, which is beginning its transition from the construction of thermal cars to electric ones. . In fact, by adding up all the projects to set up on its soil with regard to the production of batteries, there are no less than twelve factories that are planned on both sides of the country.

The CATL plant in Germany
The CATL plant in Germany

In total, production should reach nearly 435 GWh per year by 2030, enough to supply batteries to around five million electric cars. And this figure only corresponds to Germany, which would indeed become the largest European producer of batteries. The first German factory has just started production.

The rest of Europe is not sidelined either. In Italy, three plants are planned, totaling 200 GWh of production. In August 2022, the Chinese CATL has announced the establishment of a factory in Hungary, which has a capacity of 100 GWh on its own. Manufacturers Mercedes, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen will be among the first customers, since they all have assembly plants in Hungary.

A Europe at the forefront

As you can see, the 2030 horizon will be rich in batteries produced in Europe. Current estimates point to production exceeding 700 GWh of batteries, which raises a question: what are we going to do with all these batteries?

Of course, the number of electric vehicles sold will drastically increase during the current decade, which implies growing needs for batteries. But with 700 GWh annually, this production would be enough to equip ten million electric cars with a 70 kWh battery.

At the end of 2022, sales of electric vehicles represent around 10% of registrations on a European scale, i.e. less than 1,500,000 vehicles. Is it reasonable to imagine this figure to be multiplied by seven within eight years ?

According to the latest forecasts, this is indeed the case, but it means selling vehicles that are equipped with large batteries, which is far from ideal. Indeed, in addition to the superfluous side for many uses, the onboard weight of a 70 kWh battery is such that it is not possible today to equip an electric city car with such a large battery.

In any event, if there is a surplus of production in Europe, several possibilities will exist: the additional batteries could either for export or for other uses, such as energy storage. This last segment could also be essential for the uses of the future that are V2G or V2L.

Is the electric car greenwashing or is it really a viable solution to reduce CO2 emissions? In this file, we will examine the different environmental impacts of the electric car during the entire…
Read more

To follow us, we invite you to download our Android and iOS app. You can read our articles, files, and watch our latest YouTube videos.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *