Parliamentary question - E-003403/2022(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Breton on behalf of the European Commission

1. The Commission performed a bottleneck analysis[1] of the geographical production shares for batteries and electric motors. It suggests that dependencies along the value chain would, short to mid-term in the current production landscape, shift towards Asia[2], even if some raw materials are extracted in other regions[3].

2. Manufacturing and sales of electric vehicles have been ramping up, globally and in the EU[4]. The cost of the battery remains an important factor of the final price. Battery prices have been decreasing due to economies of scale but are affected by the recent increase in prices for materials. New cell chemistries with high energy density, manufacturing techniques, battery pack designs and the use of secondary raw materials should bring costs down.

3. There has been no analysis of the dependencies of each individual Member State, but the Strategic Foresight Report 2020[5] provides some further analysis. The Commission’s strategy to diversify supply and increase resilience has been detailed in the 2020 Communication on Critical Raw Materials[6]. It follows three main strands: increasing domestic production; enabling the circular economy; diversifying sourcing outside the EU[7][8].

The recent political agreement on the Batteries Regulation[9] sets targets for recycling efficiency and materials recovery, and the proposal for Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)[10] supports the shift towards circularity. The EU and Member States invest significantly in alternative chemistries with high energy density that use less externally sourced critical raw materials.

The Commission has announced[11] the preparation of a legislative proposal, the European Critical Raw Materials Act, planned for the first quarter of 2023.

Last updated: 30 January 2023
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