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Groupe PSA And Total Create Joint Venture To Manufacture Batteries In Europe

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Groupe PSA/Opel and Total/Saft have signed an agreement for the creation of the joint venture ‘Automotive Cells Company’ (ACC).

Yann Vincent has been appointed Chief Executive in order to implement and develop it. Ghislain Lescuyer has been appointed Chairman of the Board.

With this partnership, the parties are setting up a world-class player in the development and manufacture of high-performance batteries for the automotive industry from 2023. 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, production is planned to 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. It will produce batteries for electric vehicles that will be at the highest technological level in terms of energy performance, autonomy, recharging time and carbon footprint.

The joint venture will 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. This project will 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. ACC wants to position itself as a major competitive player in supplying electric vehicle manufacturers.

This project benefits from the financial support of French and German public authorities representing €1.3 billion ($1.53 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 mobilize an investment more than €5 billion ($5.9 billion) investment.

Carlos Tavares, Chairman of Groupe 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.”

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman of Total, commented: “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 recognized 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.”

Ghislain Lescuyer, Chairman of the Board, said: “ACC is the result of a vision and a shared desire between industrial companies and European and national authorities to build the European battery leader. In Europe, we have the essential skills to develop the best technologies and differentiate ourselves from Asian competitors. ACC will thus promote the transition to an efficient, safe and sustainable electric mobility.”

Yann Vincent, Chief Executive, commented: “This is a great opportunity for me to implement this strategic project on behalf of both companies. I am convinced that the combination of know-how and the desire to succeed will bring the ACC team to the highest level of technological and economic competitiveness in the years to come.”

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