© Saft Electronics Production | February 03, 2020
Saft & PSA to invest millions in European battery manufacturing
Total, through its affiliate Saft, and PSA with Opel, are announcing their plan to combine their know-how to develop EV battery manufacturing activity in Europe. The partners intend to establish a joint venture named Automotive Cell Company (ACC).
The project will leverage R&D, notably provided by Saft, in order to produce EV batteries starting in 2023. 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 EUR 200 million. The project will generate around 200 jobs in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, a press release reads. 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 production of one million batteries a year, or around 10-15% of the European market. Ultimately, nearly EUR 5 billion will be required to complete this program. Total and Groupe PSA will receive support from the French, German and European Union authorities for the project, which is 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 decarbonized economy,” says Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total. “With the support of French, German and European authorities, we will deploy our best expertise and technologies alongside our partner Groupe PSA, to create a competitive European battery industry.” 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%.