Total, PSA Collaborate to Arrive into EV Battery Manufacturing Activity in Europe

The project will leverage cutting-edge R&D, notably provided by Saft, in order to produce EV batteries starting in 2023. The technology used will offer the highest level of energy performance, both in terms of range and charging time, and a lower carbon footprint than that of the competition, setting a new standard in Europe

January 31, 2020. By News Bureau

Total, through its affiliate Saft, and PSA with Opel, have announced their strategy to combine their expertise to develop EV battery manufacturing activity in Europe. To that end, the partners aim to institute a joint venture named Automotive Cell Company (ACC).

Groupe PSA is a French multinational manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles sold under the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands.

The project will leverage cutting-edge R&D, notably provided by Saft, in order to produce EV batteries starting in 2023. The technology used will offer the highest level of energy performance, both in terms of range and charging time, and a lower carbon footprint than that of the competition, setting a new standard in Europe.

The first phase of the project focuses on R&D, including building a pilot plant on the land of Saft’s Nersac facility. The plant is scheduled to start-up in mid-2021 and represents an investment of 200 million euros. The project will generate around 200 high-skilled jobs in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region to develop, qualify and commercially scale up new, high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

This first phase will trigger the investment decision for a large-scale production plant (8 GWh initially, rising to 24 GWh later on) in the northern Hauts-de-France region, followed by a second one of equal capacity in Germany, in order to reach 48 GWh of combined capacity by 2030. That would represent the production of one million batteries a year, or around 10-15 percent of the European market. Ultimately, nearly EUR 5 billion will be required to complete this ambitious program.

Total and Groupe PSA acknowledge the support of French, German and European Union authorities for the project, expected to receive nearly EUR 1.3 billion in public funding during its development in the frame of the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) initiative authorised by the European Commission.

“In 2015, Total set an ambition to become the responsible energy major. With that in mind, we acquired Saft, a major battery maker, in 2016, primarily to develop energy storage to support the growth of intermittent renewable energies such as solar and wind. The fast-growing development of electric mobility offers Total, via Saft, another opportunity for growth and commitment to a decarbonised economy,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total.

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