PSA Enters Race for Cheap Battery Production

The PSA Group has entered the race to build cheap locally sourced BEV batteries with the formation of a joint venture with energy giant Total/Saft.

The partnership sets up the new entity, Automotive Cells Company (ACC), dedicated to supplying automakers with affordable high performance vehicle batteries. A research and development center in Bordeaux and a pilot site in Nersac, France, have already started work. Production of market-ready units is planned to be launched in two “gigafactories”, in Douvrin, France, and Kaiserslautern in Germany.

The partnership has spelled out its goals as:

  • Reducing the environmental footprint of vehicles throughout the value chain;
  • Produce batteries with the highest energy performance, autonomy, recharging time and carbon footprint;
  • Develop production capacity to meet the estimated European demand of 400 GWh by 2030, 15 times the current market;
  • Ensure industrial independence in Europe for the conception and manufacture of batteries;
  • Position ACC as a major competitive player in supplying electric vehicle manufacturers.

This project benefits from the financial support of French and German public authorities representing €1.3Bn ($1.5Bn). It received the European institutions agreement through an IPCEI project that testifies to the strategic importance of mobility for the energy transition. The whole project will mobilize an investment more than €5Bn ($5.9Bn) investment.

Carlos Tavares, chairman of PSA, said: “The construction of the European battery consortium that we wished for is now a reality. I would like to pay special tribute to the commitment of the Total/Saft and Groupe PSA/Opel teams who have made this project come true. This new step is consistent with our central purpose: ‘to offer citizens clean, safe and affordable mobility’ and gives Groupe PSA a competitive advantage in the context of growing sales of electric vehicles. ACC takes Groupe PSA further along the road to carbon neutrality.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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