11 December 2019

European Commission approves European battery project, coordinated by France

On 9 October 2019, the European Commission approved the Important Project of Common European Interest in the field of batteries. This is good news for employment, but also for European economic and technological independence. All the conditions are now in place to create an electric battery sector in France and Europe.

On an initiative launched together with Peter Altmaier, German Minister for the Economy, France and Germany have succeeded in bringing together Belgium, Finland, Italy, Poland and Sweden to give new impetus to the ambition of European industrial policy.

By consolidating the know-how of various European players, the entire battery value chain can be rolled out on European soil, thereby ensuring that strong industrial production is maintained in Europe.

Development of the European battery sector will contribute towards achieving the European Union’s goal to become the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. This project combines industrial development and green growth. The European automotive industry will no longer be forced to import batteries produced on the other side of the world and will be able to offer Europeans genuine green electric vehicles.

This project is an example of effective and ambitious European cooperation that will make Europe the leading green industrial power of the future.

The foundation stone of the pilot plant will be laid in France in early 2020 in Nersac, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in the company of Peter Altmaier.
Continental Europe
In partnership with Germany, France has undertaken to support funding for the research, development and innovation (RDI) activities of the manufacturers Saft and PSA in the area of next generation lithium-ion batteries, as well as their initial industrial deployment through the establishment of a plant in both countries.

The foundation stone of the pilot plant will be laid in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in early 2020 and a production site will be launched in France in 2022.

Worth over €5 billion, this project is set to create several thousand direct and indirect jobs in France.

Through the European Battery Alliance launched by the European Commission and the Vice-President Maroš Šefčovic, the French, German, Belgian, Finnish, Italian, Swedish and Polish governments are supporting the initiatives of 17 European industrial partners in the battery sector, across all segments of the value chain: from mineral extraction to battery manufacturing and recycling.

As a result of this undertaking, coordinated by France, the European Commission was notified in October 2019 of an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) in the field of batteries. In February 2019, the President of the Republic announced that France would be investing €700 million. Partner countries will mobilise €3.2 billion to support the development of the European battery sector.