Europe will have more electric vehicles on the road and intends to have EVs replace fossil fuel vehicles to greatly reduce carbon emissions in its path to climate neutrality. With this goal, the region has been ramping up the production of EV batteries.
According to a recent article by Big Think, there are four new EV battery plants or “gigafactories” that have been up and running since 2020 in Europe. They are Envision AESC’s facility in Sunderland, UK, Samsung’s in Göd, Hungary, LG Energy Solution’s in Wroclaw, Poland and Leclanché’s in Willstätt, Germany. In a race to drive up the electrification of vehicles in the region, Europe currently has at least two dozen EV battery plants being built from the ground up, and four are seen to start production this year.
EU, on the other hand, announced in March 2021 its plans to boost the supply of Li-ion batteries for EV production. In 2020, European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic said “by 2025, the EU will be able to produce enough battery cells to meet the needs of the European automotive industry, and even to build our export capacity.”
Europe is a formidable competitor to China when it comes to the EV market. Market intelligence company S&P Global reported Europe’s milestone in surpassing China in EV sales with more than 1.4 million vehicles sold earlier this year. China, only slightly behind, was at about 1.34 million vehicles.
The EV battery gigafactories scheduled to be operational soon and the future price parity of EVs with fossil fuel vehicles are expected to help Europe maintain this lead.
While China, for a long time, has provided the rest of the world with a reliable source of electric vehicles and their batteries, buyers can always benefit from another source. Having two global players compete for higher EV sales means more effort to make better vehicle models for every price segment, increase investment in battery R&D that could eventually solve the industry’s battery problem, and release a wider range of green vehicles for buyers to choose from. With the prevalence of EVs just right around the corner, these developments are definitely a step forward in the right direction.