In 2019, the European Union set binding targets to expand the sale of electric vehicles. The European market for automotive batteries is estimated to reach around 400 GWh in 2030, or 15 times current needs, corresponding to more than 7m electric vehicles.
In this line, Total, through its affiliate Saft, and PSA with Opel, intends to establish a joint venture known as Automotive Cell Company (ACC) to develop, qualify and commercially scale up lithium-ion batteries 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 in mid-2021 and represents an investment of EUR200m (US$220m).
The first phase will trigger the investment decision for a large-scale production plant (8 GWh initially, rising to 24 GWh later) 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 production of 1m batteries a year, or around 10-15% of the European market. Ultimately, nearly EUR5bn will be required to complete the programme.
Total and Groupe PSA acknowledge the support of French, German and European Union authorities for the project, expected to receive nearly EUR1.3bn in public funding during its development in the frame of the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) initiative authorised by the European Commission.
The Automotive Cell Company (ACC) will be a 50-50 Saft and Groupe PSA/Opel joint venture for the pilot production line. During the commercial production phase, Saft’s share in ACC will decline to 33%.
Source: Press Release