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Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink (part 1)

the human body weight, needs to be topped up on a regular basis and we cannot go without it for more than about week. As well as drinking it, we also use water for cooking and sanitation, not to mention industrial processes. Yet despite water being essential to our survival, more often than not in the West, we treat it with distain. A fact reflected in its low price (compared to petrol or electricity -- things we may be addicted to but can live without?) and how the developed world fritters it away (you may leave the kitchen tap running into an unplugged sink at home but you would not pour petrol from the station pump down the drain, right?).

What makes matters worse in terms of our taking water for granted, is that despite 70% of the Earth’s surface being covered by water, only 2.5% of the total volume is freshwater resources and fit for human consumption. Coupled with the facts from the WBCSD and FAO that in 60% of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished, by 2025, 1,800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.

Exclusive Interview with EUROBAT: The battery industry's view on the electrification of cars (part 9)

Westgeest: Internationally, there is a lot of good standardisation work being done for battery management systems and battery cells. For example, IEC for batteries and ISO are collaborating for a joint memorandum on batteries. But the big discussions are around charging protocols and connectors. CENELEC will not set all the standards. It only looks at what needs to be done on European level to help implement the global standards in Europe. 

Exclusive Interview with EUROBAT: The battery industry's view on the electrification of cars (part 7) What are the key areas in battery technology that still need development and improvement from your point of view?

Westgeest: Innovation is needed in Battery Management Systems (BMS) and cell technologies. As I said, there is room for new comers who offer innovation in these fields. They could quickly grab the attention of the market or be swallowed by the bigger companies, but nonetheless BMS and new cell technologies offer opportunities. How do you evaluate the Chinese competition in the market?

Westgeest: The advantage of the Chinese competition is that they have less incumbent systems and China is important to help create the market. But in Europe, we need to stick to reliant and safe products . It is important that Europe holds on to our high level of safety. It is extremely important that the technology is solid.

Exclusive Interview with EUROBAT: The battery industry's view on the electrification of cars (part 4) Which governmental initiatives to promote electric mobility in general and battery technology in particular do you personally estimate to be the most effective ones? Which country does it right?

Westgeest: Firstly, we need security of legislation. We need to know what restrictions there are on battery systems. We have to ensure that all battery systems can be deployed, that there is a lot of innovation. From a manufacturing point of view, you need to be able to bring new systems to the market and not be constrained by regulatory aspects.

Exclusive Interview with EUROBAT: The battery industry's view on the electrification of cars (part 2) What is EUROBAT's role in promoting a healthy EV eco-system?

Westgeest: We are involved in the debate on the environmental aspects of battery production, battery handling, the end-of-life of batteries. We are in constant dialogue with the European Commission about existing and future regulation in manufacturing quality and environment, the collection of batteries and the recycling of batteries. These are legislations where EUROBAT has a very strong position.

We also play a role in bringing about the electrification of vehicles and the use of renewable energies. We do this in participating in high-level meetings with European Institutions and are, for example, co-chairing the CENELEC group for standardisation of batteries.

Exclusive Interview with EUROBAT: The battery industry's view on the electrification of cars (part 1) What is your general outlook on the EV market as association of European automotive and industrial battery manufacturers? How do you evaluate the business opportunity for your members in the EV market, also with the Chinese competition in mind?

Alfons Westgeest:
We have to look at the definition of what electrification is. The whole automotive market is in transformation in terms of how cars are built, designed and imagined. In this respect, we see EUROBAT as part of an Eco-system where the entire automotive industry is involved. And interestingly, our link to battery technologies in other applications now brings the different areas together, when we regard for example the charging of electric vehicles and the use of renewable energies.


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