March 22 (Renewables Now) - German carmaker Volkswagen Group and Swedish energy storage specialist Northvolt AB will jointly form and lead a new consortium that will focus on the research of battery cell production across Europe.
Starting in early 2020, the so-called European Battery Union (EBU) will commence research activities that will cover the entire battery value stream, aiming to acquire know-how on battery cell manufacturing, Volkswagen announced on Thursday. The initiative will include research on raw materials, cell technology and the recycling of used batteries and will also cover research related to the development and engineering of plant technologies for sustainable battery production in the European Union (EU).
The new organisation will consist of industry partners and researchers from seven EU member states. "All the partners will step up their investments as a result of the planned additional research activities," Volkswagen said, adding that those investments could be supported by funds from the German economy ministry.
The announcement was made after in November 2018 the German government pledged to provide around EUR 1 billion (USD 1.13bn) in grants to back the production of battery cells for electric vehicles (EVs). It then said it intends to launch battery production from 2021 in support of a goal calling for 30% of all battery cells globally to come from Germany and Europe by 2030.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.130)