PARIS -- PSA Group threw its support behind efforts to create a European manufacturer of electric-car batteries, as CEO Carlos Tavares warned French lawmakers against letting Asian dominance go unchallenged.
"We have a strategic interest in avoiding a supply concentration in Asia," Tavares said on Wednesday.
The automaker "enthusiastically supports the creation of a European champion in battery development and manufacturing," Tavares told members of the French parliament's economic affairs committee.
The European Commission is attempting to corral automakers and chemical groups into creating a European leader in its field - citing Airbus in the aerospace sector as an example - that would invest in new regional production.
While some automakers assemble battery packs, Europe has no significant production of their constituent cells – currently dominated by a handful of firms including China's CATL and Korean rivals LG Chem and Samsung.
The European Investment Bank last month approved 52.5 million euros ($65 million) in funding for Sweden's Northvolt, which aims to build a battery plant in the country.
PSA's domestic rival Renault, which sources EV batteries from LG Chem, could also buy cells from a European supplier as production of electrified vehicles ramps up, CEO Carlos Ghosn said in January.
"LG Chem has no monopoly on battery supply contracts," Ghosn had told a joint hearing of the same parliamentary committee and its financial affairs counterpart. "There is room for a European supplier if it's competitive."