EU battery cell production: First funding in June


The German BMBF, that is the Ministry for Education, plans to decide on the location of a research factory for cell production on June 7. Moreover, the German government is also planning to pay the first half of the money for the planned cell production factories this June as well.

The BMBF is ready to pay out the first half of what is called the Altmaier billion after the Minister Peter Altmaier, this June to fund the planned battery cell factories in Germany asap.

Several consortia stand to win a contract, according to information by the German daily Tagesspiegel. First, there is the strong Franco-German alliance around the energy group Saft, the automobile groups PSA/Opel and BMW, as well as BASF and the Swabian small cell manufacturer Varta. Another powerful consortium includes battery manufacturer BMZ, DP/DHL’s StreetScooter and the e.GO Mobile start-up as well as Ford and the Belgian chemical group Umicore.

According to the Tagesspiegel, any contract and funding will take into account the location. According to industry insiders, Kaiserslautern, where Opel, among others, is present with a component plant, will receive the first half of the Altmaier billion. The second half could then go to NRW and the other consortium. NRW that is North-Rhine Westphalia is a strong candidate, as Ford produces in Cologne, while StreetScooter and e.GO are based nearby in Aachen.

Now to the location search for a research factory for cell production, which is led by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the project title Research Production Battery Cell (FEB). The project is a research initiative to establish an industrial production facility for lithium-ion cells, comprising a scientific and an industrial part. As mentioned above, the winner will be announced on June 7th. According to the report, Baden-Württemberg Germany’s strong south that is home to Porsche and Mercedes. Also, the ZSW and KIT institutes are specifically promoting Ulm and the MEET battery research institute Münster.

So, the funding game is not only between consortia but between Germany’s federal states as well. Five have handed in applications and throw up to 200 million euros into the funding pot each.

With any decision outstanding, it is worth to take a look back. Last November, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier promised one billion euros for the establishment of a battery cell production facility. This was followed by a call for funding in February. According to the BMWi, the aim is to forge a network with other European countries to manufacture battery cells of the latest generations and since the French government also pledged to contribute 700 million euros some time ago.

Altmaier intends to supply around 30 per cent of the worldwide demand for battery cells from German and European production by 2030. But what does this mean in factories? We recently provided an example calculation for the vision of the Federal Minister of Economics. We also looked at key players in France. (in German)

Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.


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