EC launches €10M EIC Horizon Prize for innovative batteries for EVs; EU Battery Alliance progressing
The European Commission (EC) has launched the fifth of six European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prizes, on Innovative batteries for eVehicles, worth €10 million (US$12.3 million). The EIC Horizon Prizes are part of the first phase of the European Innovation Council under Horizon 2020, the EU’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme.
The prize will be awarded for the development of a prototype battery that can power an electric vehicle with similar performance in terms of range and charging time as a conventional petrol/diesel powered small family vehicle. The battery should also be of relatively low cost, durable, safe and fully recyclable.
The Prize aims to tackle the challenge of the slow uptake of zero emission electric vehicles so far, mainly due to the limitations of existing batteries, which are expensive and have limited ranges and long recharging times.
This prize will boost the use of electric vehicles. This is good for air quality and health of people living in cities. It will also help Europe to enhance its battery manufacturing capabilities and maintain its leading position in scientific innovation.
The Prize will contribute to the objectives of the Commission’s Clean Mobility Package, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions, boost deployment of clean vehicles and foster an integrated industrial policy on batteries that will be invented and produced in the EU. To ensure such competitive, independent and innovative battery manufacturing the Commission has initiated an EU battery alliance bringing together industry, the innovation community and Member States.—Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
The deadline to apply to the EIC Horizon Prize on Innovative batteries for eVehicles is 17 December 2020.
EU Battery Alliance. The EU Battery Alliance was established by Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovic in October 2017 following a high-level meeting with Europe’s leading industrial companies. (Earlier post.) The EU Battery Alliance currently comprises more than 50 companies within the emerging lithium ion battery sector, plus numerous support and government agencies.
The EU Battery Alliance was formed in response to the recognition that Europe is not playing a significant role in the industrial production of lithium ion batteries. European Commission research estimates that by 2025, the European battery market will have an annual value in the order of €250 billion (US$308 billion), reflecting approximately 200 GWh of energy storage capacity per year—an industry too large to be left to global competitors.
The EU Battery Alliance was directed to identify a strategic plan to accelerate the installation of large-scale battery cell production capabilities in Europe. Discussions were focused on creating competitiveness throughout the entire European battery value chain, while increasing the sustainability of the industry through responsible and where possible local sourcing. A collaborative approach is viewed as an essential precursor, with skills drawn from European mining, chemical, energy, manufacturing and automotive industries.
At the EU’s Industry Days Forum held last week, the Alliance presented an overview of the work completed to date. The Alliance’s action plan is almost ready to be implemented.
Our objective for the Alliance is simple, but the challenge is immense. We want, almost from scratch, to create a competitive and sustainable, battery cell manufacturing in Europe supported by a full EU-based value chain.—Maroš Šefčovic at Industry Days Forum