More than 130 companies, research organisations and associations from the energy storage, utilities or other industrial sectors have set up the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA) that aims at fostering research to build up a competitive battery value chain across Europe within a decade.

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A first statutory general assembly of the new group elected battery producer Saft’s innovations director Michael Lippert as its chairman, and chose representatives of German carmaker BMW and Italian renewables giant Enel among its executive board. Saft is a subsidiary of French oil major Total.

“The Batteries European Partnership’s ambition is to establish by 2030 a world-class battery innovation ecosystem in Europe to boost a competitive, sustainable and circular European battery value chain for the power sector and e-mobility, enabling the transformation towards a carbon-neutral society,” BEPA said in a note.

The EU and businesses are in a race to build up a European battery industry to lessen their dependence on East Asian producers amid a rapid expansion of electric mobility and energy storage.

The European Commission and BEPA are slated to sign an official contractual agreement in April 2021. It will be the foundation of a public-private partnership between the EU and the European battery community.

BEPA said it already has 137 members of which 54 are industrial players, 56 research organisations, and 27 associations and others.

The group said its main missions will be:
  • to provide strategic recommendations for battery-related R&I activities to be funded under the Horizon Europe Work Programmes related to batteries
  • to support and oversee the portfolio of projects funded under the Partnership Work Programmes
  • to create and reinforce networks between the battery value chain industry, research and technology Organisations, universities and others, and ensure synergies with other European Partnerships and initiatives
  • to support the development of EU regulations on battery standards, safety, and sustainability and actively promote and monitor innovation uptake in the market.