BRUSSELS: EU competition regulators on Tuesday approved a 2.9-billion-euro (US$3.5 billion) battery project funded by Germany, France, Italy and nine other EU countries, responding to the growing demand for car and industrial batteries in the 27-country bloc.
Members of the scheme called European Battery Innovation include Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden, the European Commission said.
The countries hope to attract 9 billion euros from private investors.
The bloc launched the European Battery Alliance in 2017 in a bid to develop an industry that should flourish in a low-carbon future and ensure the continent is not reliant on imported products - or technology.
"For those massive innovation challenges for the European economy, the risks can be too big for just one member state or one company to take alone," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
"So, it makes good sense for European governments to come together to support industry in developing more innovative and sustainable batteries."
The project will cover the entire battery value chain from extraction of raw materials, design and manufacturing of battery cells and packs to recycling and disposal.
(US$1 = 0.8236 euros)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Mark Potter)