BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU industry chief Thierry Breton has urged EU governments to be more active in setting global standards for ultralight battery metal lithium, key to many strategic industries and electric cars, or cede technological advantage to China.
Breton’s warning underlines the European Commission’s concern as China seeks to increase its influence in setting standards for a metal crucial to the bloc’s electric car and green energy ambitions, involving major companies such as Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), PSA (PEUP.PA) and Siemens (SIEGn.DE).
His warning comes ahead of a June 24-25 vote by the International Organisation for Standardisation’s (ISO) technical management board on a Chinese proposal to set up a committee on lithium standards. China has proposed itself as the secretariat.
The standards would cover lithium mining, extraction, testing, analysis and conversion to useful lithium compounds, such as for use in lithium-ion batteries.