Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: February 19, 2024
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By Mobility Portal

Industry stakeholders view “skill shortage” as a barrier to gigafactory battery projects in Europe

While it is expected that 250 battery factories will open in Europe by 2033, some doubt whether that number can be reached. Skill shortages, setbacks in the industry, and financial issues would hinder projects implementation. What does the sector think?
gigafactory battery

Mobility Portal Europe published an article about confirmed projects for the opening of gigafactories for lithium battery production for electric vehicles (EVs) across the continent.

The announcement of the installation of 250 plants over the next ten years, as anticipated by Buck Consultants International, is a topic that generates diverse opinions due to Europe’s current dependence on China for sourcing this component, among other things.

Indeed, various stakeholders in the electromobility sector expressed their perspectives on this situation.

Gert Jan Van Der Have, Dekra.

“Setting up a production line for cells or industrial modules requires skills that are barely present in Europe,” comments Gert Jan Van der Have, Sales and Account Manager at Dekra, an inspection, testing, and certification company.

“We must accept that reality is advancing much faster than an ideal of 100 per cent made in Europe,” he adds.

The truth is that, between January and May 2023, the Asian giant accounted for approximately 70 per cent of the global production of lithium batteries, according to data from the Statista Research Department.

Lars Carlstrom, Italvolt.

Regarding the disadvantage that the region presents, Lars Carlstrom, Founder of Italvolt, points out that “Europe is in a very difficult situation, lacking much of its supply chain and, at the same time, experiencing a serious decline.”

“The industrial engine of the continent, Germany, is in danger. Closing all nuclear plants was not a good idea,” he warns.

Within Europe, the best-performing country is Germany, which produced during that period with a capacity of 151 GWh.

The article mentions some of the countries that have already confirmed openings of gigafactories, such as France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Also, It’s worth mentioning that weeks ago it was announced that France secured an investment of 10 billion euros for the construction of four gigafactories.

Peter Willemsen, Gotion Global.

Moreover, About Automotive Cells Company (ACC) announced the closing of a 4.4 billion euros debt raise, which will allow for increased funding for the construction of three gigafactories for the production of lithium-ion battery cells in France, Germany, and Italy.

However, Peter Willemsen, Chief Operating Officer at Gotion Global, says: “I highly doubt that Italy and Germany can successfully manage gigafactories; I hope I’m wrong.”

Next, he takes the opportunity to announce the opening of a facility: “A project that is 100 per cent certain is our Gotion-Inobat battery factory in Slovakia.

Tom Pickering, Zero Carbon Ventures UAE.

Another industry player who expressed his opinion was Tom Pickering, Co-Founder of Zero Carbon Ventures UAE.

The electrical infrastructure required for the 2050 Decarbonization Plan is too expensive,” he stated.

It is worth noting that this plan was proposed by the European Commission in December 2019.

The project includes a package of policy initiatives aimed at putting the European Union on the path to an ecological transition, with the goal of achieving climate neutrality in the EU by 2050.

Read more: Potential new “supply bottleneck” due to conflicts in the Middle East: How will this impact the eMobility sector?

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