Europes latest Giga plant project is Italvolt, a 45 GWH lithium ion battery factory in Northern Italy. Described as a small contributor to the European supply chain for batteries, their vision is to produce sufficient units to power 550,000 vehicles per year initially out of the current total vehicle market in Europe of 18 million. Europe’s target is to replace all new conventionally aspirated vehicles by electric by 2030.
Italy is similar to the UK in that the size of their home markets are similar; both have a vibrant automotive sector with many R&D and start ups for battery cell manufacture. In a recent Sky News interview with the CEO of the company, they emphasised the absolute priority to establish short, secure and localised supply chains for European cell manufacturers. He stated the absurdity of importing batteries from China and the Far East given the monetary and carbon cost of these extended and fragile supply chains.
Batteries in todays world need to be produced in a green manner, not only in how they are directly manufactured and assembled but also through sustainable and ethical sourcing of raw materials, ensuring renewable energies are used as much as possible in each step of the supply chain. This is impossible to enforce in the current model of importing batteries from the Far East due to the fossil fuel based energy sources used to manufacture the cells, supply chain and the carbon expended in transporting them. We may be lowering our carbon footprint here in the UK through increased use of renewable energy and EV’s, but this can be undone if the cells are made in a non-green way from a far away land. These are being called “dirty batteries” and the EU recently proposed legislation that will come into effect that will ensure battery producers and end users alike comply with “green” rules designed to reduce the impact of manufacturing on the environment.
It is increasingly clear from the green messages coming from battery manufacturers that Europe will lead the way in delivering green renewable energy and that the supply chain for lithium ion batteries will be rigorously audited to ensure these green credentials are maintained throughout the manufacturing process. This vision of sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing strongly resonates with ABM. We help our clients build the greenest, most reliable and high performance cells possible. Our cell tabs are a small part of the supply chain however we believe that change can start with small changes from individuals and small companies- our vision is to minimise our carbon footprint and ultimately have a positive impact on the environment. ABM are developing environmental surface pre-treatments for our cell tabs in response to hazardous chromium based treatments that are used in the Far East and impossible to police. We ensure our materials used are 100% traceable so that our customers can be totally confident that the green promise is being fulfilled.