The investment boost from C-round financing comes just two months after the company established a new manufacturing base in Zhenjiang, China with a planned annual capacity of 20 gigawatt-hours.
Battery industry chiefs have warned that a fresh assault on lead by European regulators risks “short-circuiting” proposals for an EU batteries revolution.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECA) said on 27 June it was adding lead metal to the EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) candidate list of substances requiring authorisation.
A backdoor attempt to “choke off” supplies of key raw materials for Europe’s lead-acid battery industry could face a legal battle, BBB can reveal.
The move was sparked by proposals from the Swedish Chemicals Agency to have lead metal classified as “substances of very high concern” (SVHC) under EU health and environmental rules.
Battery industry leaders in Germany say there is currently “no business case” for “politically-inspired” plans by the European Union to build at least 10 Gigafactories across the bloc for lithium-based batteries.
EU energy chief Maroš Šefčovič said last week the Gigafactories would be needed to produce “green European batteries” for new electric vehicles produced in Europe— and to combat Asia’s increasing dominance in the EV batteries sector.
The European Commission has pledged to pump EUR200 million ($232.5m) of fresh funding into developing “next generation electric batteries” in the EU over the next three years.
The announcement took industry insiders by surprise— coming three months before the Commission is due to finalise a “comprehensive roadmap” to fund an EU ‘batteries alliance’.