Germany sees progress on European battery cell production by year-end

German Economic Affairs and Energy Federal Minister Peter Altmaier addresses the media in Berlin, Germany, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier expects European companies to make progress by the end of the year in moving toward European production of solid state battery cells, a ministry spokeswoman said.

“It is clear that this would be a private enterprise, but we will happily support it politically. We are confident that we will have more concrete results by the end of the year,” she said during a regular government news conference on Wednesday.

“Minister Altmaier imagines battery cell production (being based) in Germany. That is his wish, but likely also in other EU member states,” she said.

Battery cells are a key battleground in the automotive industry as it shifts to electric mobility.

Currently the industry sources its requirements from Asian manufacturers such as CATL, which plans to build its first European production site in Germany.

Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Thomas Seythal