A German academic has reacted with concern at the prospect of reduced funding for battery research in Germany.
The Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University, Professor Heiner Heimes, said he had great concern over the German government’s planned cuts to the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF).
“Cutting 75% of battery research funding will have a massive impact on the training of students and doctoral candidates, meaning that the German skills shortage will increase dramatically in this area too,” said Heimes in a statement.
The competence network for lithium-ion batteries (KLiB) has reportedly equated the plans to Germany pulling out of battery research.
The Volkswagen subsidiary PowerCo wants to recruit a total of 20,000 skilled workers for battery production by 2030 but has only been able to fill around 1,000 positions so far, as was recently announced.
Heimes said: “If €156 million in funding is lost this year alone, the impact on the competitiveness of key German industries will be serious.” In funded research projects, universities and companies jointly bring significant product and process innovations to life. Industry contributes up to 50% to such projects.
“The actual loss of investment in battery research will be significantly higher as a result – and the incentive for further innovations will decrease,” he said.
Higher taxes and energy prices are also leading German companies to look to the US, where there are subsidies under the IRA scheme.