Battery production at Nissan's facility in Sunderland
Europe will have to develop next-generation ‘dry’ battery technology if it wants to build a supplier industry for electric car cells.
Speaking at the FT Future of the Car Summit in London, Roberto Vavassori, the head of Europe’s car supplier body CLEPA, said: “We need to go to the next-generation for post-lithium wet batteries.
"This is a 50gW battery industry, and one Chinese company has 40% of the market."
Vavassori believes that China is so far ahead of Europe in battery cell technology that the industry currently has no chance of catching-up.
However, the opportunities for Europe’s automotive industry is around the corner as the growth in electric cars will double demand to 100gW.
"If just 1% of global car sales go electric, we will need another 70 factories like Tesla’s Gigafactory,’ said Vavassori.
He estimates that 80% of that production will come from China, for ‘wet’ cell lithium ion batteries.
Calling for Europe to respond and develop its own cell manufacturing industry, he warned: “Do we want a shift in our geopolitical power on cells from Europe to China?”