Investing 6 Billion Euros, Germany And France Join Forces To Create Airbus In The Field Of EV Batteries

- Dec 02, 2019-

The number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the EU market is rising rapidly.

On May 7, local time, the European Bureau of Statistics released data stating that there are currently five EU member states with registered electric and hybrid vehicles holding more than 1% of the country ’s total vehicle ownership, which are Sweden (2.4%), Poland (1.9%), the United Kingdom (1.5%), France (1.4%) and Belgium (1.2%).

In terms of total volume, the valid data of Eurostat is currently only available until 2017. From the increase in 2013-2017, we can see that the number of registered electric and hybrid electric vehicles in the EU has grown rapidly: Take hybrid vehicles as an example. In 2017, the number of registered hybrid gasoline vehicles in the EU reached 1.5 million. More than 7 times in 2013 (200,000 vehicles).

Considering that the European Union requires member states to achieve the emission reduction target of "59 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer" by 2030, Germany and France have accelerated their deployment in the electric vehicle industry, and the latest news shows that they have experienced Germany and France have decided to jointly invest 5 billion to 6 billion euros to build a European electric vehicle battery manufacturing joint venture, and vowed to create an "Airbus" in the electric vehicle industry.

Creating the "Airbus" of the electric vehicle industry

Although Europe has top automobile manufacturers, it has not seized the opportunity in the development of the electric vehicle industry and electric vehicle trams.

Daniel Rieger, director of the Transportation Policy Department of the German environmental protection organization NABU, explained that although some German automakers have announced a full shift to electric vehicle production, it has been a major threat to politicians, unions, and the vast majority of the automotive industry. As for the insiders, they still have great doubts about the transition to full electric vehicles.

Large European car manufacturers currently produce traditional cars with complex engines, but the key high value-added component of electric vehicles is rechargeable batteries. According to data from the European Union, in terms of electric vehicle battery production, the European Union only accounts for 3% of the market share, and most rechargeable car batteries are manufactured in Asia. The European Union is concerned that if European cars cannot gain a foothold in the field of electric vehicle batteries, Europe will lose its overall influence on the industry's supply chain and its right to speak in terms of standard setting in the future.

Countries such as Germany and France are also worried that in the rapid transition from traditional internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, such as the transfer of the value chain of the automotive industry to Asia, this will mean the loss of millions of European jobs.

European Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic pointed out that "time is not enough". He believes that the battery business can directly or indirectly create 2 million to 3 million jobs in Europe, and "our Asian competitors have already fired their guns."

Against this background, as mentioned earlier, recently French Minister of Finance Lemmer, German Minister of Finance Altmeer and Sevkovich jointly announced that Germany and France will jointly invest 5 billion to 6 billion euros in construction A European electric vehicle battery manufacturing joint venture, which includes 4 billion euros funded by the private sector and 1.2 billion euros subsidized by the two governments after EU approval.

It is reported that the two sides will start a pilot project with 200 employees in France in 2020, and then build a factory in France and Germany that can create more than 1,500 jobs.

Lemaire compared the project to the time when Airbus was founded: "When we founded Airbus, no one knew if it could make an aircraft as good or better than Boeing."

So far, announced project participants have announced that they include the French automobile manufacturing trademark Citroen Group (PSA), Germany's Opel and the French oil giant Total's battery manufacturing company Saft.

Among them, Saft has cooperated with German electronics giant Siemens, the multinational chemical group Solvay and German machinery manufacturer Manz to develop high-tech batteries.

Lemaire said that the new plant will start producing the latest generation of traditional liquid car batteries in 2022 or 2023, and will start producing solid-state batteries from 2025 to 2026.

"The challenge is huge, because by 2025, battery demand in Europe could reach 400 gigawatt hours (GWh)," Sevkovic said. "We need 25 super factories."

Environmental pressures prompt Germany to accelerate deployment of new energy vehicles

In the data released by Eurostat on the 7th, as a traditional automobile country, Germany's registered electric and hybrid vehicle ownership is not high, ranking only 18th (the EU has 28 member states).

Earlier, an expert group set up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a report saying that by 2030, Germany must achieve 10 million electric vehicles on the road to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and meet the relevant targets for carbon dioxide reduction in 2030.

However, according to the German Federal Motor Transport Administration (KBA), as of December 2018, the number of registered electric vehicles in Germany was less than 200,000.

At the same time, as major car companies in Germany fall into the “exhaust valve” scandal, German environmental pressure is also increasing.

Daniel Rieger said: "German politicians have recently expressed the need for electric cars because the EU has set strict standards for new car sales. Germany must significantly increase its share of electric cars, otherwise it will not be possible to achieve this. aims."

What Rieg refers to is that on December 17, 2018, the European Parliament and the European Council reached a political agreement on decarbonizing and modernizing transport after 2020: "Compared to 2021, the carbon dioxide emissions of new cars in 2030 Must be reduced by 37.5%. "

As the EU ’s goal set in 2013 was “to reduce the average carbon dioxide emissions of new cars to 95 grams per kilometer from 2020”, according to estimates, the emission reduction target for 2030 will become an average of 59 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer for new cars.

Rieg pointed out that if they do not comply, automakers will also face huge compensation: "Each car per kilometer of excess carbon dioxide emissions per kilogram will cost the manufacturer a penalty of 95 euros."

However, it is understood that there is still controversy in Germany about whether to develop full-battery electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered electric vehicles, or internal combustion engine vehicles driven by green methane.

The German think tank Ifo Economics issued a report last month saying that if all electric power consumption and other energy losses are counted, the carbon dioxide emissions of electric vehicles will be 11% -28% higher than that of gasoline vehicles. Methane-driven internal-combustion vehicles have much lower carbon dioxide emissions.