Europe could end its reliance on China

Europe could end its reliance on China for lithium-ion battery cells by 2027, Transport & Environment (T&E) has forecast.

Europe is on track to produce enough Li-ion cells by then to fully meet domestic demand for electric vehicles and energy storage, according to the new analysis of battery-makers’ announcements.

China’s dominance of battery components can also be cut. Two-thirds of Europe’s demand for cathodes – which contain critical raw materials – can be produced domestically by 2027, the report also finds. Existing and planned cathode production projects include Umicore in Poland, Northvolt in Sweden, and BASF in Germany. But companies could still move projects planned for Europe to the US, tempted by the tax benefits and other subsidies provided by the Inflation Reduction Act for localising battery supply chains in the US.

Reliance on China for the refining and processing of battery metals could also fall dramatically: more than half of Europe’s refined lithium demand can come from European projects by 2030, T&E forecasts.

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