Issue 01/2021 | Sustainability and the battery ecosystem


Welcome battery enthusiasts! We invite you to enjoy the first issue of our quarterly newsletter of the European Battery Innovation (EuBatIn) accompanying research team of the IPCEI programme, managed by VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH (VDI/VDE-IT) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Together with our partners TÜV Rheinland Consulting and Technical University Berlin, the team promotes the establishment of battery cell production in Germany and Europe, connects the funded projects with actors of this ecosystem, supports political decision-making processes and moderates the stakeholder dialogue.

Now, in the middle of 2021, we can already look back on two successful years of cooperation and progress. On behalf of the BMWi, we are working tirelessly to further develop and expand the European battery ecosystem. VDI/VDE-IT provides a highly motivated team of around 35 experts with the background of many years of experience and enthusiasm for electric-powered mobility.

On the one hand, we organise the national funding of EU-notified large-scale projects within the framework of IPCEIs and on the other hand, we support the projects and the actors of the ecosystem through scientific accompanying measures.

Starting today, we will now inform you regularly about the results of our work and the funded projects. In this newsletter, you will find interesting insights from the accompanying research team. This first issue is dedicated to the topic of sustainability along the battery value chain and in the battery ecosystem. Get first insights of our study on sustainable battery production and our short analysis of the European battery ecosystem. We look forward to your interest and your suggestions for the further development of our quarterly reports.

Uwe Seidel and Stefan Wolf
Programme Management IPCEI Battery, VDI/VDE-IT

Study: Sustainability of battery production in Europe – How sustainable are batteries and e-mobility really?

Batteries are a key technology for a sustainable transformation of mobility and energy supply. Against the background of the goal of "green" batteries manufactured in Europe, our new study analyses all facets of sustainability that must be taken into account in the development of the new European battery cell production industry.

The study provides a sound evidence baseline and paves the way for a fact-based debate on the implementation of sustainability criteria in the development of the battery ecosystem. 

Below, you can find an outline of the key statements of our analysis. To read the complete study, download the PDF.

#1 Climate Protection
The fabrication of batteries is energy-intensive. As a result, more greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted in the current production of battery electric vehicles than in the production of comparable vehicles with combustion engines. According to different sources, the GHG emissions during battery production range from about 10 kg CO2-eq to 180 kg CO2-eq per kWh. In our study we show that continuous development of battery technology is reducing production-related GHG emissions. Especially in the use phase (well-to-wheel), battery electric vehicles are outstanding for their low GHG emissions and very high energy efficiency.

#2 Raw Materials Governance
High-volume battery production increasingly requires more raw materials, often extracted in countries with low environmental and social standards. In perspective, the supply of raw materials and compliance with sustainable environmental and social standards must be ensured throughout the supply chain. New mining methods are under development to mitigate the environmental impact of raw material extraction. Likewise, advances in battery development reduce the share of critical raw materials in batteries. Due to regulations that will demand more transparency along supply chains, public-private collaborations are developing tools to track material and information flows of individual products in the supply chain as well as compliance with standards. One example is the Global Battery Alliance's digital battery passport.

#3 Circular Economy
Circular Economy is a central impact principle for a sustainable battery value chain. The reprocessing and reuse of spent batteries or their components close the value chain and improve the ecological footprint of batteries. The current proposal for an EU Battery Regulation represents a comprehensive series of measures to establish a circular economy. The increasing number of spent batteries and the associated opportunity for automation and efficiency improvements are key levers to increase economic sustainability.

#4 Employment
Productivity increases, a reorganisation of value creation and a major change in the after-market business are leading to a decline in traditional jobs in the automotive industry. With consistent investment in battery production and electric mobility, this decline can be largely offset by the accompanying need for new workers. Along the battery value chain alone, several 10,000 new jobs will be created in Europe. This change will result in a considerable need for qualifications. Industry, educational institutions and policymakers must jointly address this challenge and create new training and continuing education programmes to meet demand.

EMAS: Eco management for future-oriented companies

EMAS is the acronym for "Eco Management and Audit Scheme". It is a voluntary European environmental management system developed by the European Commission for all types of organisations worldwide. It requires companies to publish an environmental statement in which they report on their (direct and indirect) impact on the environment, their environmental performance and their environmental objectives. This makes their efforts visible, assessable through figures and data, and transparent.

EMAS validated organisations reduce their environmental impacts, strengthen legal compliance and employee involvement, and save resources and money. Yet, EMAS goes beyond the requirements of environmental legislation by promoting social aspects of sustainable business and ensuring continuous improvement.

The accompanying research team supports the IPCEI companies and stakeholders of the battery ecosystem in the introduction of EMAS. To learn more about our work, join us on LinkedIn >> 

Study: Battery cell manufacturing ecosystem in Europe

The study “Battery cell manufacturing ecosystem in Europe” makes the European battery ecosystem transparent. It looks at the structures of knowledge transfer and value creation in Germany and Europe from a network perspective based on the analysis of publicly available information about research, value creation and strategic activities. Already, many different actors are active in battery related activities across the various value chain stages. However, the study also reveals gaps in the ecosystem, pointing out opportunities for more networking and future partnerships. The authors have also drawn up eight recommendations for action.
Download  the full study >>

IPCEI news: European battery cell production – IPCEI on Batteries and IPCEI EuBatIn

In October 2019 and January 2021, the two Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on battery cell production have been approved by the European Commission, enabling up to €6.1 billion state aid and unlocking up to €14 billion in private investments within the battery value chain. The first ‘IPCEI on Batteries’ is being coordinated by the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance (MINEFI). This project involves a total of seven member states and 16 national projects. The second IPCEI, ‘EuBatIn – European Battery Innovation’, is being coordinated by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with the support of VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH. Twelve member states and 42 companies are taking part in this integrated European project. The players involved in both IPCEIs are working on the build-up of a complete value chain for batteries in Europe, from the processing of raw materials to the actual production, integration of batteries, and recycling. Therefore, more than 50 companies are working together with 150 external partners in around 300 collaborations, creating more than 18,000 new jobs across Europe. The ultimate goal is to cover the global demand of battery cells by 30% with sustainable cells from Europe and to strengthen the European battery ecosystem.

To find out more about the IPCEIs and related projects, we have created a web application full of battery knowledge.
To explore, please visit the BMWi website >>

News from the Ecosystem: LiPLANET Network up & running

The accompanying research on battery cell production is partnering with the LiPLANET Network to create a European innovation and production ecosystem and to reinforce the position of the European Union (EU) in the lithium battery cell manufacturing market. For this, as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the European Commission funded the two-year LiPLANET project to lay the foundation for establishing the network. Now, one year and a half later, the structures for a sustainable network have been established, and the LiPLANET Network is now up and running as an association in founding.

To learn more about the network, visit  the  LiPLANET website >>  

Events, conferences & networking

Below, you can find a brief overview of upcoming events and conferences related to the topic of batteries. If you are organising a battery-related conference or other event that you would like to have included in this list of our next quarterly newsletter, please click here to send us an e-mail.

07 - 12 September 2021


IAA Mobility 2021
(VDA, Verband der Automobilindustrie e. V.)

12 - 16 September 2021

EUROMAT 2021 Congress on Advanced Materials and Processes
(ASMET, The Austrian Society for Metallurgy and Materials)

14 - 15 September 2021  

EV Battery Recycling & Reuse 2021
(IQ International Pte. Ltd); with a keynote speech by Dr. Mischa Bechberger, VDI/VDE-IT, presenting our study “Sustainability of battery production in Europe”

22 - 24 September 2021

26th International Congress for Battery Recycling

29 September -
01 October 2021

Batteries Event 2021
(Avicenne Energy); with a keynote speech by Uwe Seidel and Dr. Stefan Wolf, VDI/VDE-IT

05 / 12 / 19 / 26 October 2021 

Green Battery Conference 2021

19 - 20 October 2021

Battery Tech Europe Conference
(iQ Hub); with a keynote speech by Matthias Künzel, VDI/VDE-IT

01 - 03 November 2021

International Battery Production Conference
(Battery LabFactory Braunschweig)

15 - 16 November 2021

Future Battery Forum: Berlin 2021

30 November -
02 December 2021

The Battery Show Europe
(Informa Markets)


Accompanying research Live Talks

1 question – 2 experts – more than 200 participants

Re-starting after the summer break, the accompanying research team of the IPCEI programme will continue its successful Live Talk series on important questions that arise within the battery IPCEIs and the battery ecosystem.
The online events are free of charge and you are kindly invited to join!

If you are signed up for this newsletter, you will receive an invitation in due time. We will also announce the next Live Talk in our LinkedIn group European Battery Innovation and would be happy to welcome you there. Join the group to let us know your point of view, to discuss the topics of this newsletter and many more and to network with more than 1,500 battery experts.

Follow us on LinkedIn >>


Legal Notice / Subscription

VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH (VDI/VDE-IT) has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to act as the project management agency and to provide scientific support for the Europe-wide "IPCEI battery cell production" project.

Together with its partners from TÜV Rheinland Consulting and Technical University of Berlin the accompanying research team provides analytics, dissemination and networking activities for the German IPCEI projects.

VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH
Department Mobility, Energy and Future Technologies
Steinplatz 1
10623 Berlin

Registergericht: Amtsgericht
Berlin-Charlottenburg, HRB 99568
Geschäftsführer: Peter Dortans, Dr. Werner Wilke
Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Stepken

Image credits
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