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Technology neutrality is key in decarbonising transport, also when it comes to battery technology


24 May 2018


  • The need for batteries will rise in the coming years, with progressive hybridisation and electrification of transport as well as connected and automated mobility, but also in energy storage services and motive power applications
  • Both lithium-ion and lead-based, together with other battery technologies, will be used for the foreseeable future
The need for technology neutrality in EU legislation on transport was the key conclusion at a breakfast debate on “Electrification, hybridisation and batteries made in Europe”, hosted by MEP Jens Gieseke (EPP, DE) today with speakers from CLEPA, the Association of the Automotive Suppliers Industry and EUROBAT, the European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers. Only a technology neutral framework allows for the necessary diversity of technology solutions required for complex transport needs, especially against the background of electrification, speakers agreed.
“Pure internal combustion powertrain solutions are projected to drop from about 95% in 2017 to close to 50% in 2030, with different distribution across world regions,” said Thorsten Muschal, Executive Vice President Sales & Program Management of Faurecia, and Vice President of CLEPA. “Different degrees of hybridisation as well as alternatives such as fuel cell systems will play a more and more important role, requiring tailored battery components and battery management solutions and not least with technologies developed in Europe.”
Decarbonisation of transport requires a wide-range of technologies; from efficient combustion engine powertrains to advanced alternative solutions including e-fuels, battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, 48 Volt technology, mild hybrids with brake energy recuperation to vehicles with start-stop technology.
“Lead-based batteries play a key role in all different powertrains. They are used all the way from the conventional SLI (starter-lighting-ignition) battery to the auxiliary lead battery in electric vehicles to power the 12V board-net and to provide safety functions. Autonomous driving demands high reliability of the energy storage system and the functional safety of lead-based batteries is deemed essential here.” said Christian Rosenkranz, Vice President Global Start Stop Engineering & Engineering EMEA, Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
Unlocking European potential for battery manufacturing does not only require funding for research and innovation but also a close look at the coherence of different regulatory instruments to underpin European competitiveness.
“EU policy–makers must not only address issues such as the sustainable supply of raw materials or end-of-life management of batteries but must also consider adequate risk management options for strategic raw materials under REACH., REACH authorisation for essential substances used in batteries has negative consequences for the competitiveness of European manufacturers said René Schroeder, Executive Director of EUROBAT.
Hosting MEP Jens Gieseke connected the discussion on battery technology to the ongoing debate on CO2 emission limits for cars and vans, citing the strong push for battery-electric vehicles from members of the European Parliament, and confirmed the need for technology neutrality.
Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, concluded: “Transport needs are complex and a rich spectrum of technology solutions cater to such needs. European industry has crucial competence in traditional as well as new solutions along the value chain. Ideally, the regulatory framework reconciles competitiveness and environmental protection. The question should not be electrification or combustion, but efficient technology to ensure mobility.”
Note to the editor:
EUROBAT is the association for the European manufacturers of automotive, industrial and energy storage batteries. EUROBAT has 52 members from across the continent comprising more than 90% of the automotive and industrial battery industry in Europe.
CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, represents over 3.000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 20 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe employ nearly five million people across the continent.
For more information, please contact:
EUROBAT-René Schroeder (
CLEPA- Pilar Perez (


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