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REGIONS EUROPE


Europe’s gigafactory economy E


BATTERY PRODUCTION IS SET TO INTENSIFY FOLLOWING A RECORD YEAR OF EV SALES. SETH O’FARRELL REPORTS


urope has been making strides to prepare for a future of elec- tric vehicles (EVs) this year,


with more and more gigafactories announced every month, in a bid to rival Asian players for control over battery production. Several large-scale ambitious


gigafactory projects have been announced in the first half of 2021. In July, Nissan partnered with Envision to invest £1bn to develop an


EV manufacturing hub in Sunderland, in which Envision’s gigafactory will produce bat- teries for Nissan’s new all-electric vehicle. In June, Swedish cell manufacturer Northvolt raised $2.75bn in equity to kick off production and ramp up research and development efforts. In March, Volkswagen announced its plans to construct six gigafactories across Europe, each with a production capacity of 40 gigawatt hours. Iñigo Careaga, business analyst at CIC EnergiGUNE, a research centre benchmarking gigafactory developments across Europe, tells fDi that the continent is currently in “the eye of the storm”, withmore gigafactories expected to be announced before the end of the year.


BiggestEVmarket Europe overtook China as the world’s biggest EV market in 2020, according to data from EV-volumes.com, as sales jumped 137% year-on- year to roughly 1.4 million. By contrast, China sold 1.3 million EV cars last year, up 12%on the previous year. Maroš Šefcovic, vice president of the


European Commission and the person in charge of the European Battery Alliance (EBA), a public–private network aimed at building Europe’s battery production, said in a recent statement that he was “glad to see that Europe continues to be a global hotspot for battery investment”. He expects the continent will manufacture enough battery cells each year by 2025 to power at least six million electric cars. “We all agree that the EBA is crucial to bol-


ster Europe’s resilience and strategic autonomy in key industrial ecosystems, notably by reduc- ing our dependency on third countries, such as China and South Korea,” Mr Šefcovic said. The EU announced last year that it aims to


have at least 30 million zero-emission cars on European roads by 2030.■


76 Source: CIC energiGUNE www.fDiIntelligence.com August/September 2021


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