“Despite the Corona pandemic, the German battery market is on an upward trend. The volume of the market for lithium-ion batteries in particular has increased enormously,” said Christian Eckert, ZVEI Managing Director Batteries, at a ZVEI press briefing today. The German battery market grew 35 percent overall last year to €5.9 billion, accelerating its growth compared to 2019. Lithium-ion batteries accounted for the largest share of the market at EUR 3 billion. The segment grew by 63 percent compared to the previous year.
The market volume for lithium-ion batteries is due in part to the high growth in imports of battery cells to Germany. While the majority of battery imports in 2019 came from Asia, Europe caught up with Asia as an import region. For example, total European battery imports of just under 3.8 billion euros, 79 percent above the previous year, represent 52 percent of the total import volume. It is important to know that although most battery cells are imported to Germany, it is the manufacturers in this country who use their special know-how to produce the complex battery systems from the cells.
“Batteries are among the key technologies of the future,” Eckert said. “Without lithium-ion batteries, no electric vehicle, e-bike, smartphone or defibrillator will run.” While electromobility and the expansion of renewable energies are driving demand for lithium-ion batteries in particular, the lead-acid battery remains important for numerous applications: “Lead-acid batteries play a major role in uninterruptible power supplies in hospitals and data centers.” In addition, there is still hardly any electric vehicle that can do without a lead-acid battery as an on-board battery.
The battery is also crucial to achieving the EU’s climate protection targets. “We can only achieve the goals of the European Green Deal with the various battery technologies, because they are the prerequisite for the decarbonisation of the transport sector as well as the storage of renewable energies,” Eckert explained. The ongoing revision of the European battery legislation will further strengthen the existing circular economy and sustainability of batteries.
In order to survive in international competition, it is also essential that Europe remains technologically sovereign in key technologies such as batteries. According to Eckert, European funding programmes such as the Important Projects for Common European Interest (IPCEI) can make an important contribution to this. “With a strong European battery industry, Europe can safeguard its strategic interests based on a multilateral global economy,” Eckert concluded.