Electric vehicles, or EVs for short, are categorised into Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), which are driven by a fully electric drivetrain, and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs), which are driven by a combination of combustion engine and electric drivetrain. While there are still a relatively small number of EVs on the road, their number is expected to increase dramatically in the next decade. In fact, the European Union plans to produce 600,000 EVs by the year 2021, with global production at 2.2 million. By the year 2025 these figures will increase to 6.4 million with a potential to reach 17 million depending on several factors like consumer uptake and government subsidies related to the purchase of EVs.
By 2025, technology costs (particularly for batteries, but also for battery management systems or power electronics, etc.) will have further gone down. As a result, electrified vehicles gain in cost competitiveness compared to conventional vehicles, with combustion engine technology becoming more expensive in consequence of emission regulations.
EEIG is working with OEMs to facilitate the transition from conventional vehicles to EVs. We are able to do this through supporting the evolution of the EV value chain by focussing mainly on the raw materials needed for batteries and the battery cells themselves.
An electric battery consists of one or more electrochemical cells, which comprise two electrodes – an anode and a cathode – and an electrolyte. When the two electrodes are linked by a pathway that conducts electricity, electrons can flow from one to the other. When a battery is used to supply electric power, the anode provides electrons, which will – when connected by a circuit to an external device – flow and deliver energy.
The workhorse of the EV is the lithium-ion battery that powers it. EEIG is working together with its partners to bring to market state-of-the-art, high energy density batteries that will be able to compete with current global producers, who are based mainly in Asia, where China, Korea and Japan.
According to the European Union, “the creation of an EU-based battery industry is a long term strategic goal. One which we cannot expect car manufacturers to support on their own. Given the promise a long term rewards for the EU, public investment in developing the battery industry is a no-brainer.”
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