The “Airbus of batteries”: a project worth more than €5 billion
Announced in January 2020, the project to build an automotive ‘gigafactory’ was confirmed on Thursday 3 September 2020, with the creation of the Automotive Cells Company, a 50/50 joint venture between PSA/Open and Total/Saft. ACC will manage the future factories at Douvrin (Hauts-de-France) and in Kaiserslautern in Germany. This project represents an investment of more than €5 billion, including financial support of €1.3 billion from the French and German public authorities.
The French gigafactory: a two stage project
Stage 1: R&D Backed by Total’s expertise, ACC’s R&C will focus on developing high-performance lithium-ion batteries.
Development has already started at the R&D site in Bordeaux (Gironde) and the pilot site in Nersac (Charente-Maritime). Stage 2: Mass production The PSA group will bring its knowledge of the automotive market and experience in mass production to the two sites:
- Douvrin in France (Hauts-de-France region)
- Kaiserslautern in Germany
Production is due to start in 2023. It will reach full power by 2030 with a cumulative capacity of 48Gwh on both sites, equipping 1 million electric vehicles per year which is more than 10% of the European market.
PSA Gigafactory: Douvrin selected for French production
It’s no coincidence that the French gigafactory is based in Hauts-de-France… The Hauts-de-France region is:
- the leading automotive region in France in terms of vehicle production (700,000 per year, 30% of the French total)
- the second biggest region for engine production with more than 750,000 units produced every year
It benefits from the presence of 2 global manufacturers (Toyota, PSA and Renault). And an ecosystem of more than 550 suppliers, sub-contractors and service providers. …And it’s no coincidence that PSA chose Douvrin Since 1969 the town has been home to the PSA diesel and petrol engine plant, Française de Mécanique. The factory accounts for nearly 5% of global production of engines for light vehicles of all makes.
Electric vehicles are booming
Driven by environmental protection policies, the electric vehicle sector is growing rapidly in Europe. According to market studies carried out by PSA and Total, it should increase its current production up to 15 times by 2030, a total of 400GWh.
Relocating electric battery manufacturing: a challenge for European sovereignty
This gigafactory project which is supported by the French and German governments aims to:
- support energy transition in the automotive industry
- ensure Europe’s industrial independence
The major share of the battery production market is held by China and America. The European market represents just 1% of global production. This European gigafactory will help reduce the cost of electric motors and thereby encourage the development of an electric vehicle market in the heart of Europe. It should be noted that a battery alone represents one third of the vehicles added value. Find out more about the automotive sector in Hauts-de-France