Securing the future: the EU’s most resilient raw material
The EU’s plans to secure supply chains and lessen dependency on critical raw materials sourced outside Europe is key to maintaining its sustainable battery credentials, as Clarios’s Dr Christian Rosenkranz explains.
Europe is in a race to reduce its reliance on critical raw materials and boost its autonomy.
In so doing it is aiming to shore-up supply chains and provide reassurance to manufacturers while providing energy security and protecting economic growth.
The lead and lead battery industries warmly welcome this renewed focus on autonomy and greater self-reliance. We have a well-established and highly advanced battery manufacturing and recycling capability in Europe. We are self-sufficient, autonomous and secure.
Much of the lead we use in battery production is recycled and produced in Europe and all of the batteries manufactured here, which are collected at the end of their life, are fully recycled. And that means everything is recycled and re-used, from the lead to the plastic to the battery acid. Nothing goes to waste. Nothing is discarded.
Not only is our industry a beacon of the circular economy, we produce highly-advanced batteries which are vital for our everyday lives as well as our economic success. Industrial batteries support data centres, uninterruptable power supplies in hospitals, renewables energy storage and many other vital services and products. While our vehicle batteries enable start-stop hybrid vehicles and are included in nearly all electric vehicles as auxiliary batteries providing safe and reliable back-up power.
Europe is a centre of excellence for advanced lead battery research and manufacturing – as well as recycling. It is an industry we can and should be proud of and it is an industry which plays an important role in providing energy security and autonomy.
As chairman of the Consortium for Battery Innovation – which conducts the latest research and supports innovation in next-generation battery design – we are driving forward with the next generation of batteries with improved performance and lifetime.
Europe is at the heart of sustainable lead battery production and is rapidly building capacity in all key chemistries. And this is vital given that growing demand for safe, reliable battery energy storage will continue to outstrip any one technology. Lead batteries are a critical part of the mix of rechargeable energy storage technologies needed to support growth, greater electrification and security of supply. Let us ensure we continue to value such an important product and create the best conditions for the industry to continue to thrive.
Dr Christian Rosenkranz is Chairman of the Consortium for Battery Innovation and Vice President of Industry & Government Relations, EMEA, at Clarios.