We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
As the European Commission publishes a communication on progress in establishing battery manufacturing in Europe, we look at the JRC's recent work in support of the EU Battery Alliance.
Low-emission mobility is an essential component of the broader shift to the low-carbon, circular economy needed for Europe to stay competitive and be able to cater to the mobility needs of people and goods.
Transport represents almost a quarter of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions and is the main cause of air pollution in cities.
Europe's answer to these challenges is an irreversible shift to low-emission mobility in terms of carbon and air pollutants.
In this context, batteries will be essential for the automotive industry of the 21st century.
To maintain its leadership in the automotive sector and in clean energy systems, the EU has to have independent capacity to develop and produce batteries.
One year ago, the European Commission launched the European Battery Alliance.
This is an industry-led initiative that is already delivering tangible results, as described in the Commission Communication.
Within the Battery Alliance it is important to build an ecosystem of cooperation between industry, research and academia covering the whole value chain with support from the MSs and European institutions.
As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the JRC supports the EU initiatives which aim to ease the ongoing transition to clean mobility and clean energy systems.
In the framework of the SET-Plan Action 7, the JRC has lead the process of developing a widely endorsed Research and Innovation (R&I) Implementation Plan, working closely with stakeholder experts.
This Plan sets out the blueprint for future battery R&I needed for Europe to become competitive in the global battery sector by establishing coordinated and collective research efforts under the EU Battery Alliance.
On 15 October, the JRC released a new report on standards for the performance and durability assessment of electric vehicle batteries.
It looks at the standards linked to electric vehicle battery performance, degradation and lifetime which are already in place or are being developed.
The report identifies measuring and testing methods which could be used for compliance assessment of electric vehicle batteries in order to meet Eco-design requirements.
In addition, the report identifies needs that are not covered by these standards in order to determine whether any gaps exist in terms of assessing the performance and durability of batteries under an Eco-design Regulation.
For instance, scientists underline the need to develop a harmonised test protocol for battery durability, as well as strategies to lower the testing times of battery durability.
The Eco-design Regulation is currently being developed by the European Commission. It will set the performance and sustainability criteria for batteries on the EU market.
The JRC is currently working on a study on cobalt which is fundamental for the expansion of the electric vehicle market.
The report outlining potential future gaps in supply and demand will be published next month.
The JRC is opening its scientific laboratories and facilities to researchers working in academia, research organisations, industry and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
A call for expressions of interest is being prepared to provide access also to the JRC's battery testing facilities located in Petten, the Netherlands.
Offering access to visiting researchers is part of JRC's strategy to enhance dissemination of scientific knowledge, boost competiveness, bridge the gap between research and industry and provide training and capacity building.