German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier wants to support the development of a battery-cell factory in Germany, with more than a billion euros. By 2021 he’ll make this amount from the budget of the Ministry of economy, said the CDU politician after a Meeting EU Commissioner for energy Maroš Šefčovič.

There is a growing interest of companies to invest in the battery cell production, said Altmaier. Several consortia are forming. As a candidate of the battery group Varta, the chemical company, BASF, as well as the car manufacturer Ford will apply. It is still open whether VW involved.

Altmaier said he expect this factory to give until the end of March 2019, the specific investment decisions for a battery cell. Per consortium to 1,000 to 2,000 jobs. The production of cells could be included in 2021.

Many Federal States have already signalled their interest to become the location of such a factory, the Minister said. He called North Rhine-Westphalia, lower Saxony, Saarland, and Saxony, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. As possible, in the course of the coal to the factory exit in a current brown coal area, such as the Lausitz.

It will not, however, go to a, but in the medium and long term, to multiple locations, said Altmaier. It is planned also for cross-border cooperation with France, Poland or Austria. The goal is that by 2030 a share of up to 30 percent of global production from Germany and Europe to come.

Airbus as a role model?

the model for this could be Airbus. The European aircraft manufacturer, several countries work closely together in Assembly plants in Germany, France and other countries. State participation in a battery consortium is not planned according to Altmaier.

Altmaier said the state must create the necessary conditions for a “time-limited” start-up assistance. The production of battery cells is a key technology. “It’s about jobs. (…) We want to receive the automobile location in Germany and strengths.”

Currently, VW, Daimler and BMW, cells in Asia to buy and assemble them yourself to large batteries for their electric cars. The Federal government and the trade unions are, therefore, a strong dependence of suppliers and have been demanding a national or at least European solution. In July, the Chinese manufacturer CATL had announced to build one of the largest battery cell factory for electric cars in Erfurt.

The number of electric cars is also growing in Europe. Therefore, the demand for batteries, as well as to the contained in the cells increases in the coming years. Altmaier said, according to forecasts, will fold the demand until 2030 by tenfold.

The promotion of a production of European and German companies success according to the state aid rules of the EU. State aid for individual companies, are prohibited in the EU. There are exceptions when this can be justified with the European objectives of economic development.

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