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Western Europe is world's top investor in battery manufacturing projects

posted onJune 15, 2021

In 2020, Western Europe claimed 43% of global investments in battery manufacturing projects, according to to Fitch Solutions analysts. Germany led the region with 10 of the 17 projects recorded, while the biggest project in Europe's largest economy is SVOLT’s $2 billion battery cell plant with a capacity of 24GWh per year. 

The activity in Germany is reflective of the drive by the country’s national champion automakers to invest heavily in manufacturing EVs at their home plants.  Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are all present at the table with their own projects for production of battery packs showing the more active role that carmakers are taking in the supply chain, the report said.

Since the launch of the “European battery alliance” in 2017,  by the European Commission, EU countries, industry, and the scientific community, the bloc has made a leap forward in its quest to develop a full battery manufacturing value chain. Investments in the EU battery sector reached €60 billion in 2019, while China invested only €17 billion.

The bloc is currently investing €20 billion  in 70 projects within 12 member states to ensure battery independence while the European Commission expects up to 4 million new jobs to be created by 2025 as a result of dozens of new industrial alliances in the battery cell business. 

Battery Manufacturing

Last year, Fitch's report recorded 37 manufacturing projects across the world for EV batteries and related components and materials worth $21.04 billion, for those projects disclosing financial details. The projects range from the production of battery cells and packs themselves, to anode materials and battery trays. Western Europe claimed both the biggest number of projects with 17, and the biggest combined value with $9.1 billion. However, China is still a target for investment due to being the world’s biggest standalone market for EVs. 

The world's second largest economy accounted for three of the eight projects tracked in Asia worth a combined value of $2.6bn,Fitch reported. The biggest being a $1.2bn joint venture between Geely and CATL for a new battery plant. CATL was also behind the biggest investment in the Asia region overall with $5bn for a new battery plant in Indonesia.

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