October 31, 2020

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Groupe PSA and Total create “automotive cells company”

Groupe PSA and Total create "automotive cells company"
Photo courtesy of Groupe PSA

Groupe PSA/Opel and Total/Saft have signed an agreement to create a joint venture called ACC, a world-class player in the development and manufacture of high-performance batteries for the automotive industry from 2023.

Yann Vincent has been appointed chief executive in order to implement and develop ACC. Ghislain Lescuyer has been appointed chairman of the Board.

This ambitious project, announced in January 2020, pools the expertise of each partner to develop and produce batteries with the highest level of performance worldwide.

Total/Saft will contribute its expertise in R&D and industrialisation, and Groupe PSA its knowledge of the automotive market and its experience in production. The R&D centre in Bordeaux and the pilot site in Nersac, France, have already started in order to develop the new high-performance lithium-ion technologies.  At the end of this R&D phase, mass production could be launched in two “gigafactories,” in Douvrin, France, and Kaiserslautern, Germany.

This project aims to:

  • Respond to the challenges of the energy transition by reducing the environmental footprint of vehicles throughout the value chain in a desire to offer clean and affordable mobility to citizens.
  • Produce batteries for electric vehicles that will be at the highest technological level in terms of energy performance, autonomy, recharging time and carbon footprint.
  • Develop production capacity, essential to accompany the growth demand for electric vehicles in a European market estimated at 400 GWh by 2030, i.e. 15 times the current market.
  • Ensure industrial independence in Europe for the conception and manufacture of batteries, with an initial capacity of 8 GWh, reaching a cumulative capacity of 48 GWh on both sites by 2030. It will represent 1 million electric vehicles produced per year, i.e. more than 10% of the European market. 
  • 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 EUR1.3 billion (USD1.5 billion). 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 mobilise an investment of more than EUR5 billion (USD5.9 billion) investment.

“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,” Carlos Tavares, chairman of Groupe PSA, said.

“The creation of ACC illustrates Total’s commitment to meet the challenge of climate change and to develop as a broad energy company, a major player in the energy transition, by continuing to provide affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy. Our ambition is to leverage the recognised expertise of our subsidiary SAFT in batteries and the industrial know-how of our partner PSA to meet the strong growth of electric vehicles in Europe. I would like to offer my encouragement to the teams who will be joining ACC to make this adventure a real European technological and industrial success,” said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman of Total.

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