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Racing Towards the Large European Battery Market Valued at 250 Billion Euro

BASF, one of the world's largest chemical companies and a leading cathode active material supplier to battery producers for electric vehicles around the world, is in the race to gain a solid place in the rapidly growing battery market. A race to develop sustainable batteries with the range, durability and price that consumers demand.

Central Position for Customers: Nordic Battery Materials Factory

Tor Stendahl, Country Manager BASF Finland and General Manager Nordic Battery Materials & Metal Services, is himself a trained chemical engineer and has been at BASF for 23 years. He and his team are constructing one of the two battery materials factories in Europe, which will ensure the company a central position in the value chain around the European battery market. Chemistry is crucial for the development of high-tech materials for battery components and for battery performance. The market potential is huge and the pace is high. The factory, which will produce so-called precursor cathode active material (PCAM), will be built in Harjavalta, Finland, and supply the company’s cathode active materials (CAM) plant in Schwarzheide, Germany.

March 2021: Construction progress of BASF's battery materials plant in Harjavalta, Finland

Chemistry can be felt throughout the value chain in this market. We build the factory for battery materials while developing the product at the same time. It is a race to optimize the technology and roughly get greater range, shorter charging time, longer life, and a smaller CO2 footprint in the battery boxes. The new factory will be taken into use in 2022 and together with its sister factory in Schwarzheide will enable the delivery of approximately 400,000 fully electric vehicles per year."

Tor Stendahl

Tor Stendahl

Country Manager BASF Finland and General Manager Nordic Battery Materials & Metal Services

Projected European Market Worth Billions: Batteries for Electric Cars

Within the backdrop of the European Green Deal, many governments of European members states are supporting the energy and mobility transition with new stimulus programs for electric vehicles. With an increased number of new battery powered car models available on the market, encouraged by OEMs meeting their CO2 fleet targets, this mobility transition is easier than ever. In 2020, sales of electric vehicles thus rose 137% year on year to almost 1.4 million cars on the street (S&P Global). The European Battery Alliance estimates that the total value chain around the European battery market could become 250 billion euros annually by 2025. This estimated market value will propel a significant number of players to invest in Europe to set up local battery cell production.

Battery Recycling is Becoming a Crucial Factor for Success

The production of battery materials is not the only measure of success in the industry. One of the most crucial competitive parameters in the battery market is the ability to sustainably recycle end-of-life batteries. In 8-10 years, the life of large quantities of batteries will have expired. Volume will therefore increase significantly in the coming years, and this requires that the value chain becomes even more sustainable than today.

Recycling of batteries is thus an important long-term market requirement to reduce the CO2 footprint as well as to comply with rules such as EU recycling regulations. BASF's ambition is to recycle spent lithium-ion batteries for the production of raw materials for new cathode active materials that can be used to produce new batteries.

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Battery Materials