The European project DEFACTO, coordinated by the Basque research center CIDETEC Energy Storage, started in San Sebastián, Spain, on January 14th. The kickoff meeting gathered all the partners in a two-day reunion that included a visit to the facilities of CIDETEC. DEFACTO is a project funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Programme that seeks to revolutionize the way in which the cell manufacturing industry for electric vehicles has worked so far. As of today, companies incur in high laboratory and personnel costs to improve the design and manufacturing process of cells.
In this sense, DEFACTO will implement a multidisciplinary method that combines laboratory work, prototyping and multiphysic and multiscale modeling. This will allow, on the one hand, to accelerate the research and innovation processes on cell development, optimizing their design and functionality and, on the other, to significantly increase the competitiveness of European industry.
The increasing use of electric vehicles, caused by a drastic reduction in costs and an expansion of their functionalities, will generate a significant demand for batteries. The basic components of batteries, electrochemical cells, represent an important market for the European industry, estimated at 250 billion euros in 2025. Until now, Asia has been leading the market: China, Korea and Japan have the world’s largest manufacturing capacity. Meanwhile Europe, which also wants to become a prominent player in the sector, has put innovation at the heart of its industrial strategy to strengthen and expand its cell manufacturing capacity. Europe also presents other advantages, such as the proximity to vehicle assembly plants and the existence of a mature supply chain in the automotive sector. To encourage innovation in this field, the European Commission is funding numerous research projects, and among them is DEFACTO.
In addition to improving the global positioning of the European electric mobility industry, DEFACTO seeks to encourage and accelerate the decarbonisation of transport, as 96% of this industry still depends on fossil fuels. This is in line with the purpose of the European Union to achieve a smarter and more ecological transport system that meets the growing mobility needs of the society, while reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency.
DEFACTO is an initiative funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union that has a total budget of € 5,988,318.75 and will last for 42 months.
The consortium that makes up this initiative is made up of thirteen partners: five research centers (CIDETEC Energy Storage, the French Commission for Alternative Energy and Atomic Energy, the Hellas Research and Technology Center, the German Aerospace Center DLR and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), two universities (Technical University of Brunswick and Polytechnic University of Madrid), two leading industries (ESI Group and Irizar Mobility), three small and medium enterprises (Sustainable Innovations Europe, Lechlanche GmbH and Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering), and a standardization body (UNE), all coordinated by CIDETEC Energy Storage.