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International News From the Field: Europe

Europe continues pushing toward a greener future, investing almost $1 trillion to develop renewable energy, sustainable transport, energy-efficient buildings, and other green technologies. For more industry intel and other tidbits, please read on.
Apr 26, 2023

The European Union's Green Deal Industrial Plan is an ambitious program to transition the EU's economy to a sustainable model by 2050. Key aspects of the plan include prohibiting the sale of new combustion cars by 2035, promoting the use of electric vehicles, and significantly reducing carbon emissions. This will require a massive investment in research, innovation, and the development of necessary infrastructure, such as charging stations and battery-production facilities.

The ban on combustion cars is a bold move expected to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. It will also create opportunities for new industries and jobs in the EV market and associated industries, such as battery production and charging infrastructure. The Green Deal Industrial Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The prohibition of combustion cars is a crucial step in achieving this goal, as transportation accounts for a significant portion of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU is already progressing toward transitioning to electric vehicles, with EV sales increasing rapidly in recent years. However, prohibiting combustion cars will require significant investments in infrastructure and technology to ensure that electric vehicles are a viable alternative for all EU citizens. This will require coordination between governments, industry, and other stakeholders to provide the necessary investments and ensure the transition to electric vehicles goes as smoothly as possible.

Some recently announced projects and investment news items are listed below:

  • Mercedes-Benz recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, Germany. The first stage of the plant – the mechanical dismantling of electric vehicle batteries – is scheduled to start ramping up at the end of 2023. 

  • Volvo is opening a brand-new Tech Hub in Krakow, Poland. It will be an essential software development center and play a crucial role in the carmaker’s strategic ambitions to be a fully electric brand by 2030 and a leader in new technology.

  • Automotive Cells Co. (ACC) announced an approximately $7 billion investment in a new gigafactory in Termoli, Italy. ACC is an initiative undertaken by Stellantis, TotalEnergies (along with its subsidiary Saft), and Mercedes-Benz, and strongly supported by France, Germany, and the European Union. ACC aims to develop and produce battery cells and modules for electric vehicles.

  • VDL Group reported solid growth in three divisions in 2022, especially in the subcontracting, buses and coaches, and finished products divisions. The group plans to invest more than $300 million in new operating assets to sustain continuous growth in the coming years.

  • Spanish Grupo Antolin, an e-mobility company, has presented its Transformation Plan GOA (Gear Up Our Ambition), which involves investments of over $1 billion in 2023-2026. The plan foresees more competitive, efficient, and productive factories by implementing continuous improvement projects and identifying best internal practices.

  • Future Combat Air System (FCAS) took a major step toward a first flight when it was awarded a landmark contract in December 2022 by Dassault Aviation, Airbus, Indra, Eumet, and industrial partners for the Demonstrator Phase 1B. The agreement, valued around $3 billion, covers work on the FCAS demonstrator and its components.

  • The Demonstrator Phase 1B agreement reflects the determination of France, Germany, and Spain to develop a powerful, innovative, and entirely European weapon system to meet the operational needs of the countries’ armed forces.

  • ArianeGroup has pooled its Ottobrunn quality control activities to create a dedicated quality inspection center, an integral part of the production process. The new 600-square-meter facility was officially opened on March 10, 2023. ArianeGroup’s Ottobrunn site primarily concentrates on developing and producing components for Ariane rocket engines.

  • Danobat Group plans to invest in new infrastructure and machinery. Of the total $35 million investment, $12 million is earmarked for modernizing Danobat’s facilities in the Arriaga industrial area in Elgoibar, $15 million for upgrading Soraluce’s plants in the Osintxu area of Bergara, and $7 million for Goimek’s facilities in Itziar.

For more information, please contact Conchi Aranguren at caranguren@AMTonline.org.

Conchi Aranguren
AMT's Representative for Europe
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