EU leaders to address growing dependency on China for batteries and fuel cells

EU leaders will discuss ways to reduce this dependency, exploring alternatives in Africa and Latin America.

Technician use soldering iron to solder metal and wire of lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Repair

EU leaders are set to convene in Granada, Spain, on October 5 to tackle the pressing issue of the European Union’s increasing reliance on China for lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells. A confidential document obtained by Reuters warns that, unless decisive measures are taken, the EU could find itself in a situation akin to its previous energy dependence on Russia before Ukraine conflict.

As the EU strives to achieve its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050, the demand for energy storage solutions will surge dramatically, potentially multiplying tenfold to thirtyfold in the coming years.

This meeting will focus on the European Commission’s proposals to reduce China’s dependency and explore diversification options toward Africa and Latin America. Concerns also extend to the digital-tech sector, where the EU seeks to address vulnerabilities in the face of rising global demand for digital devices and technologies.

Why does it matter?

Over-reliance on a single external supplier, particularly outside its influence, puts the EU in a precarious position. It raises significant concerns about its strategic autonomy, economic stability, global competitiveness, and ability to meet its climate and energy transition objectives.