Europe ponies up big cash to help EV makers build batteries locally

Billions of dollars will help Tesla and other carmakers invest in domestic European battery production.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
Tesla charging in Europe

Lots of automakers are getting a helping hand in Europe.

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The European Union hopes it can stop carmakers from relying on China for batteries -- and boost its members' economies -- with a whopping $3.5 billion investment into battery production, the European Commission said Tuesday. Automakers from Tesla, BMW, Stellantis and many others will be eligible for a slice of the aid to kickstart European battery building, and better compete with China's dominance in the market today.

According to the EC, China owns 80% of lithium-ion cell production, and as the auto industry moves to electric vehicles, the EU wants that to change. It said the trade bloc may be self-sufficient with battery production by 2025 with the hefty investment announced. The money won't only cover production, however. Europe plans for aid to fund raw materials, battery recycling and proper disposal once a battery reaches the end of its useful life.

In addition to the direct aid and investment for automakers, the EU aims to spur private investment as more firms see battery production come online in Europe. The bloc said it hopes to attract over $10 billion in investment from the industry as it builds up the sector.

Thus far, the US hasn't approached battery production in the same aggressive manner, though that could change with the new administration. President Joe Biden already signed a number of executive actions concerning EVs and is using the government's purchasing power to boost EV adoption from US companies.

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