European Battery Alliance: Automotive jobs at risk need policy to accelerate change and avoid unnecessary disruption
On 12 March, the Commission held a high-level meeting under the European Battery Alliance. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioners Thierry Breton, Nicolas Schmit and Elisa Ferreira, as well as the European Investment Bank Vice-Presidents Ambroise Fayolle and Thomas Östros took part in the event alongside Ministers from 14 EU Member States with significant investments in the battery value chain.
As reported by POLITICO, Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, one key part in this alliance, told the publication that their “goal is to achieve a world market share of 30 percent”. Currently, Europe has less than 5 percent global market share.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič indicated, in fact that the goal is to become the second largest battery cell producer: “The production of lithium-ion cell batteries has shown the most progress – and by 2025, we are now set to become the second largest battery cell producer in the world, behind China. Moreover, nearly 30 announced projects should largely satisfy the EU demand for batteries driven by e-mobility.”
In terms of regulation, the European Commission announced that it expects an adoption of the proposal by 2022 at the latest.
Concerns of impact on employment remain
The Alliance is supporting 70 industrial projects and as declared by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, it is expected “to create 3 to 4 million jobs by 2025”.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič declared: “The industry estimates that by 2025, this growing skills shortage could amount to some 800,000 jobs across the entire battery value chain.”
This is a considerable number that calls for an automotive–specific plan to prepare its workforce for the impact of this transformation.
“There are significant opportunities for the automotive supplier industry to remain a key contributor to well-paid employment and to help secure a green and digital economy. This will require a joint effort to reskill people, secure jobs and enable investment in innovative technology solutions. It also requires the willingness to examine the real impact on the ground. Jobs at risk are in many cases not easily interchangeable with new jobs elsewhere in the mobility value chain. Policy to manage the transition must therefore aim to accelerate change as well as avoid unnecessary disruption.”, says CLEPA Secretary General Sigrid de Vries.
In: CLEPA News, Electrification, Environment & Energy, Growth & Competitiveness, Skills