As part of Protolabs “In Charge” survey, 201 companies from 7 European countries were interviewed, 30 of which were Italian, operating in the electrical sector, divided into companies producing lithium batteries, battery components manufacturers, manufacturers of storage systems other than lithium, manufacturers of electric vehicles and cars, manufacturers of solar energy systems, half of which have a turnover of more than 200 million Euros per year.
Urgency is the common denominator that emerges from the survey: by 2030 70% of cars sold will be electric and this requires a new approach to production to meet the growing demand in such a short time.
In the immediate term, the supply chain needs to be rethought: 80% of respondents say that within 12 months they will bring the supply chain closer to the production plants to meet the growing demand. 82% say they will introduce new batteries with alternative lithium-ion technology in less than a year. And the timeline can be met because four-fifths of respondents will use or expand in-house manufacturing capacity through additive manufacturing. To do all this, for more than half of the respondents is necessary the support of States through investment and tax relief, as also highlighted by the 2.9 billion euro plan of the European Commission to support research and innovation in the field of batteries.
The survey( detailshere ) also put the spotlight on the industry’s own ability to grow in such a short time. Three pillars emerged on which the industry is basing its future development: the awareness of being able to attract and retain talent – only 16% will have to select some staff from outside the EU – the ability to enter new markets quickly and design highly innovative products.
On closer inspection, combining the results of this survey with the recent news about the approval and delivery of the Next Generation EU plan by the European Commission to Italy, the future that is lining up seems to be cloudless: 220 billion euros available for Italy for investments in the green economy, in the digitalization of industry and in electric mobility, which find part of the most involved industrial sectors already ready to take up the challenge. And one last piece of data that emerges is particularly important, especially in the field of energy.n this moment where the shortage of raw materials is driving prices through the roof: two-thirds of the respondents agree on this, there is an urgent need to recycle more, both to reach ESG – Environmental, Social, Governance – goals sooner and to obtain reusable raw materials, at other times destined for landfills.
“The pandemic seems to be easing and this is leading to a sudden and increasing global demand for raw materials, semi-finished products and transport. The battery industry, as well as having to cope with the immediate, has to grow fast if it is to meet its 2025 targets so the supply chain risks are somewhat magnified. The industry is finding some solutions, including the reshoring of some activities, the relocation of the supply chain, the recycling of materials and additive manufacturing and on demand to respond quickly to the needs of production flexibility and time to market of new products,” said Matteo Carola, Country Manager for Italy at Protolabs.
Despite the (few) clouds on the horizon, the electrical storage industry in Europe seems to be on the way to an impressive development, combined with its ability to compete and public support for a more sustainable world.
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