The CEO of the France-based auto manufacturer PSA Group, Carlos Tavares, was recently quoted as saying that the firm was putting its support behind the idea that a Europe-based manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries was needed.
Supporting that viewpoint, Tavares stated that it would be a strategically poor choice to allow the sector to be dominated by Asia-based firms — such as LG Chem, Panasonic, Samsung SDI, CATL, SK Innovation, etc.
The PSA Group CEO was quoted as saying: “We have a strategic interest in avoiding a supply concentration in Asia.”
That was before noting that the company “enthusiastically supports the creation of a European champion in battery development and manufacturing.” These comments came during an economic affairs committee meeting of France’s parliament.
Reuters provides more: “The European Commission is attempting to corral automakers and chemical groups into creating a European leader in its field — citing Airbus in the aerospace sector as an example — that would invest in new regional production.”
“While some carmakers assemble battery packs, Europe has no significant production of their constituent cells — currently dominated by a handful of firms including China’s CATL and Korean rivals LG Chem and Samsung. The European Investment Bank last month approved €52.5 million ($65 million) in funding for Sweden’s Northvolt, which aims to build a battery plant in the country.”
Speaking at the same parliamentary committee, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn was quoted as saying that while Renault primarily sources its electric vehicle (EV) batteries from LG Chem, room is definitely there to source batteries from a Europe-based producer as EV production is ramped up.
“LG Chem has no monopoly on battery supply contracts,” Ghosn explained. “There is room for a European supplier if it’s competitive.”
Image by EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson
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