The European Commission has called a summit of business leaders to drive progress in the European electric vehicle (EV) battery technology industry.
The commission’s vice-president of energy, Maros Sefcovic, launched the event as concerns mount about Europe being left behind in battery technology when compared with China, the Financial Times reports.
Executives from BMW, chemical company BASF and other industry giants have been invited to the 11 October consortium, while funding of up to £1.95 billion will be made available.
Talking to the Financial Times, Sefcovic compared the consortium to Airbus, with multiple companies co-operating to challenge more mainstream offerings - Boeing in the aerospace industry and, for the automotive industry, the runaway development of EV technologies in Asia.
There is currently no European EV cell plant, despite the growing number of continental car makers with EVs in their immediate plans, while plants in the US, China and Japan have already been set up. Mercedes-Benz's factory for its EQ sub-brand will be the first in Europe, but the range does not go on sale until 2019.
Meanwhile, China, the largest car market in the world, has laid out plans for compulsory quotas of car makers’ sales to be electric as the country faces an air quality crisis. The legislation prompted mainstream car makers to call for leniency in the face of stringent quotas.