Germany’s car industry can’t build its own battery cells The sad history of German failure to make batteries. "Cells can be a major technology differentiator and cells are the by far most costly part of the battery pack,” he told The Verge. In his view, a large scale production of battery cells by European or German companies will be crucial for the continent “for keeping its chances in taking part in an enormous and rapidly growing market.” So Merkel’s new government, formed in March 2018, put the topic high on the agenda by including it into its coalition agreement. “Can it go well if we, as a continent that produces cars, buy battery cells from Asia and the digital infrastructure of a car from somewhere in Asia or America?” Merkel asked this June. She urged German automotive companies to start a race to catch up. But so far, they haven’t.