Europe's quest for becoming a competitive actor in the global battery value chain highly depends on the materials targeted for their production.
Raw materials are crucial to Europe’s economy. They form a strong industrial base, producing a broad range of goods and applications used in everyday life and modern technologies, and the access to them is therefore crucial. The EU periodically publishes an updated version of its list of so-called critical raw materials, which monitors materials of industrial relevance, along with their respective origins. After 2020's update, it now contains 30 materials, with four new additions since the last update in 2017; namely Titanium, Bauxite, Lithium, and Strontium.
Source: European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Critical raw materials, 2020
The list of critical raw materials, now enlarged, contains several materials which are at the core of battery production. It is therefore of great importance to monitor these developments, in order to advocate for research and use of alternative materials that can be locally sourced, complying to environmental and ethical standards.
It goes without saying that cobalt is one of the elements present on this list. CoFBAT aims to develop the next level of battery storage models for decentralized energy production by developing cobalt-free and environmentally friendly advanced materials. The availability of materials along the supply chain is a strategic pillar of the project, in which cobalt free material technology is sought. In this context raw materials availability, legal framework and supply risk is of importance along the project in order to identify possible risks according risk management strategy.
We welcome the Commission's efforts in assessing and classifying critical materials for Europe, and look forward to further support on research for alternative materials that can make Europe a greener and more competitive actor in battery production.