How Europe can win the battery race

Batteries will play a defining role in the 21st century economy. Vehicles, homes, industry will all transition to electricity and partially or fully rely on battery storage. Europe has made real progress in developing a battery supply chain, resulting in several gigafactories being built (Nortvolt is one example).

The EU should intensify its efforts to build a battery value chain in Europe if it wishes to be independent of foreign supply. Efforts to develop next generation batteries should build on, and be integrated into, the existing EU Battery Alliance. Success in advanced batteries cannot be achieved without success in current lithium-ion technology.

As part of its industrial policy, China mandates what products to manufacture and buy; the US innovation model relies on a combination of government funded research (e.g. Arpa-E), government/military procurement and venture capital. Europe is different but does boast a rich industrial value chain with some recent successes in coordination (e.g. the EU Battery Alliance). In addition, the EU is a regulatory superpower, the biggest R&D spender in the world, and its member states have unique fiscal powers.