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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany has earmarked 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to support a consortium looking to produce electric car battery cells and plans to fund a research facility to develop next-generation solid-state batteries, three sources told Reuters. The measures, expected to be announced next week, are designed to reduce the dependence of German carmakers on Asian electric vehicle (EV) battery suppliers and protect German jobs at risk from the shift away from combustion engines initial cufflinks gold uk sale. Berlin’s push to shape industrial policy marks a break with its generally “hands off” approach to business decisions and is part of European efforts to forge battery alliances to counter the dominance of Chinese, Japanese and Korean firms..
Ensuring local companies are involved throughout the electric vehicle supply chain is particularly important for Germany as it has become so economically dependent on the success of its car industry. But Germany’s car battery push could be too late initial cufflinks gold uk sale. Asian market leaders are ramping up output and some experts say there’s a risk of a glut that could hinder the establishment of large-scale battery cell production by European newcomers. For Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fractious ruling coalition, the plan is also a way to show voters ahead of three elections next year in eastern Germany that it can get its act together to help Europe’s largest economy thrive in the electric car era..
“We have a concentration of risk in the automobile sector. The industry is too dependent on the combustion engine,” Deputy Economy Minister Christian Hirte told Reuters. “The government therefore wants to help the sector in its efforts to diversify.” initial cufflinks gold uk sale. Hirte said Berlin was in talks with several companies and other governments in Europe to support a battery cell factory. “There are possibilities for example in the Lausitz region, maybe in cooperation with Poland,” said Hirte, who is the government’s coordinator for Eastern German affairs and for small- and medium-sized enterprises policy..
“One thing is clear: you cannot ignore east Germany if you are planning such mega projects initial cufflinks gold uk sale. There is a lot of space and the acceptance among the population is great.”. Companies involved in talks with Economy Minister Peter Altmaier about building a factory include German battery maker VARTA Microbattery, chemical giant BASF (BASFn.DE) and Ford’s (F.N) German subsidiary Ford-Werke GmbH, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. A spokeswoman for BASF said it would attend a meeting with Altmaier next week. Varta (VAR1.DE) and Ford declined to comment..
Varta specializes in batteries for hearing aids and large storage systems for solar energy. It said last month it was studying the production of large lithium batteries and was in intensive discussions with relevant market actors. Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) supervisory board is due to discuss its electric car and battery cell strategy at a meeting on Nov. 16. The German carmaker has said in the past that it was studying battery cell production at its plant in Salzgitter initial cufflinks gold uk sale. A source told Reuters on Thursday that the board would discuss a far-reaching alliance with South Korean battery cell maker SK Innovation (096770.KS)..