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Europe: Analysis: BASF to take on Asia’s battery chemicals makers

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BASF need not be worried by dominant Asian players’ expertise in batteries as the world’s largest chemicals maker looks to become a leading provider of materials at the heart of next-generation electric cars.

The German group will invest roughly 500 million euros ($609 million) by 2016 trying to become a major force in a market that could be worth tens of billions of dollars in less than a decade.

Analysts say it is a gamble worth taking as the car industry looks to develop electric vehicles (EVs) with a range up to 250 km from about 2017.

The playing field is essentially level because all players, such as Japanese groups Hitachi Chemical <4217.T> and Mitsubishi Chemical <4188.T>, will enter new territory – the battery industry’s move from powering mobiles to making the driving force for cars will lift everyone out of their comfort zone.


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