The Future of automotive Li-Ion Battery Production in Europe

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Ten years ago, the European automotive industry smiled at a Californian tech-startup which applied laptop-batteries to a niche sportscar. Some years later, they began the development of electric cars themselves. At that time, legacy automotive OEMs considered Li-Ion batteries a commodity, just like the steel coils they sourced from large conglomerates, while the high-end engines and chassis were secretly built in-house.
Now that automotive e-mobility is on the brink of becoming mainstream with high demand and high production volumes, this strategy turned out to be a dead end. Cell and battery production capacities become a bottleneck for car manufacturers and OEM try to secure their supply with more local production capacities. The know-how and capabilities to apply the right cell chemistry with the appropriate manufacturing processes to the best modules and packs for a specific vehicle requirement turn out to be central differentiators in the future automotive competition. And this is where the California-based startup today can leverage its competitive edge.
In response to the new and increasing demand from the car industry, large cell manufacturers have recently entered Europe with production sites. New players have positioned themselves with ambitious ventures, in some cases as (co-) investments of automotive OEM. The late growth of the European li-ion industry is outpacing China and by far the USA.
However, some questions are arising regarding the future development of the industry:
1. What is the lithium-ion capacity demand of the automotive industry now, in 2025, and in 2030 and how will match the upcoming production capacities?
2. How will alternative energy storages (hydrogen, e-fuels etc.) affect the automotive battery market?
3. What will be the cell types (chemistries and designs) required in 2025 and 2030?
4. Which technological advancements (new chemistries, cell designs and standards, vehicle architectures, etc.) could help to overcome current challenges?
5. Will we see more vertical integration of the battery supply chain (e.g. like Tesla) or will more specialists arise (e.g. for module & pack, BMS, analytics), when and how will traditional automotive suppliers engage?
6. Which role will battery recycling play in the future, for ecological and material supply reasons?
Based on case experiences and industry insights, the speech will highlight current trends regarding the li-ion battery production in Europe and scenarios for the future development. It will discuss the specific challenges and requirements in the value chain from cell manufacturer to car OEM and how players along the value chain can position themselves strategically for the future. Hence, it will give answers to the arising questions and evaluate the future role and perspective for an industry which could be a core of the automotive supply chains for the next decades.

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