European Commission - November 24, 2020
Thank you Melinda, and good morning everyone. It is a privilege to be speaking at such an important event, especially as we find ourselves ...
. But simply replacing internal combustion vehicles with electric equivalents will not do the trick. Electriccars still cause emissions: in
When we founded the European Battery Alliance in 2017, many people struggled to believe Europe could develop a globally-competitive battery industry, one which could rival and even outshine those in other parts of the world…The last three years, however, have shown us that it is not only possible, but fast becoming reality…Some 15 new battery cell plants - gigafactories - are being built across Europe, including in Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden. These plants will provide by 2025 enough cells to power at least 6 million electric vehicles…The scale of investment, necessary for achieving this, is enormous…But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it also represents an opportunity…And in NextGenerationEU, our historic 750 billion Euro recovery plan, which we presented together with a revamped long-term budget, we have a ready-made tool to seize this opportunity…This instrument will be crucial as we accelerate the twin green and digital transition, and investment in batteries can help drive our recovery as well as long-term resilience…However, investment is not only needed for battery cell production, but for the whole value chain, including: extraction and processing of critical raw materials…manufacturing of materials necessary for battery cell production such as cathodes, anodes, and separators…and end-of-life treatment and recycling facilities…We will deliver on our commitment by bringing forward a proposal (next month), which will ensure that only the greenest and safest batteries make it onto the EU market…Our proposal will provide for a comprehensive framework that is ambitious on transparent and ethical sourcing of raw materials, carbon-footprint of batteries, and recycling…Yesterday, I spoke at the kick-off event for the European Raw Materials Alliance, which is aimed at strengthening the security of our raw materials supply chains, while ensuring sustainability and social responsibility standards…To achieve this, we must not only build strategic partnerships, but also increase domestic sourcing, support innovation for alternatives, and mainstream circularity…With the first investment cases already emerging across 14 Member States, this will be one of our top priorities in the coming months and years.