Survey: European manufacturers want local battery supply

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China’s domination of the industry is making UK and EU manufacturers nervous.

Manufacturers in the UK and Europe want to move more of the supply chain for batteries used in electric cars and renewable energy away from China and closer to their plants, a survey showed on Tuesday.

China dominates the processing of the minerals used in electric batteries, as well as making the cells and related components, with Japan and South Korea in a distant second and third place.

But manufacturers in a survey of 200 European firms conducted by industrial prototyping company Protolabs said they had grown more concerned about supply chain disruption over the past year and wanted to use suppliers closer to home.

The ‘In Charge’ report was carried out in Spring 2021

Over four in five European companies want local sourcing

Japanese carmaker Nissan announced on July 1 that it would invest 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) with a Chinese partner Envision AESC to produce batteries near its main European plant in Sunderland, northeast England.

Some 80% of firms said they wanted to move their supply chain for batteries closer to production, rising to 84% of British firms which were seeking to make changes within the next 12 months.

“With just 6% of battery manufacturing taking place in Europe, we are still heavily reliant on battery cell imports and, with demand for electric vehicles increasing rapidly, there is an understanding this has to change,” said Bjoern Klaas, managing director of Protolabs Europe.