The European Court of Auditors does not spare the European Commission in its reports. A few months ago, the Court criticised the EC for its tardiness and inconsistency in the implementation of intermodal transport and, more recently, for being too slow on electromobility. Specifically, the production of batteries, which are a key part of the green transport plan. The first stage of the changeover to electric drives will be 2035 (Fit fo 55) and the final stage will be 2050, when all European Union countries are expected to achieve climate neutrality.
Translating the ambitious plans into figures, the European Commission assumes that by 2030 there will be 16 million trucks on the road equipped with batteries of 75 kWh each. As the Court’s experts have calculated, battery production should increase from 44 GWh to 1,200 GWh in 2030 in order to be able to speak of a planned implementation of the electromobility programme five years later. What does the European Court of Auditors not like? The continued heavy reliance on suppliers from outside the continent, above all from China, which has captured nearly 80% of the market. Meanwhile, the European Union and the United States are each able to handle 7% of the battery market, and South Korea 5%.
Although the European Commission has provided a huge amount of money for the regional production of of lithium-ion cells, progress has been slow. The Commission has provided more than €1.7 billion in grants and loans between 2014 and 2020, in addition to which 12 EU member states have supported battery manufacturers with €6 billion. The figures are impressive, as the EU’s investment in the battery cell production system is expected to reach €14 billion by 2031. The Court also reproaches the European Commission for failing to take into account the consequences of the Ukrainian-Russian war, i.e. the huge increase in energy prices, in its plans. Meanwhile, the battery industry is a very energy-intensive industry.