ACC inaugurates Gigafactory in France, Europe drives towards self-sufficiency in battery production

Flagship Gigafactory of the JV between Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and Total Energies has an initial production line with capacity of more than 13 GWh, rising to 40 GWh by 2030.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 31 May 2023 Views icon2299 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

ACC (Automotive Cells Company) has inaugurated its first Gigafactory in Billy-Berclau/Douvrin, France, aimed at accelerating Europe's transition to sustainable mobility.

Founded in 2020, ACC is a joint venture between Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and Total Energies, through its subsidiary Saft, with the initiative supported by France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union.

This first Gigafactory, a flagship on a European scale, includes over 60,000 square metres of workshops, with an initial production line with a capacity of more than 13 GWh, rising to 40 GWh by 2030. ACC's development goes hand in hand with the development of a local, skilled workforce that will contribute to the growth of the Hauts-de-France region, with the creation of around 2,000 direct jobs by 2030.

Benefiting from the latest safety and environmental management standards, the site will have an industrial water consumption 5 to 10 times lower than that of a standard car manufacturing plant and will recycle 90% of its waste. The site has been classified SEVESO, a European regulation designed to maintain a high level of prevention and guarantee the highest standards and control in terms of safety.

ACC states that it is committed to sourcing the strategic materials that make up its batteries (cobalt, lithium, copper, and nickel) from suppliers who are exemplary in terms of respect for the environment and human rights, and to actively contributing to the development of the batteries’ recycling industry.

"We are proud to have developed a battery technology in France, whose production in our three sites in France, Germany and Italy illustrates our commitment to European industrial sovereignty in a strategic sector that is currently dominated by competition from Asia, which accounts for 85% of global battery production,” said Yann Vincent, Chief Executive Officer of ACC.

“ACC’s new plant marks a key milestone in Europe’s transformation to make its auto industry more resilient, competitive, and sustainable, also in the electric era. Together with our partners, we will develop and produce high-tech battery cells and modules in the heart of Europe, enabling Mercedes-Benz to build desirable electric cars for the world”, commented Ola Källenius, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-Benz.

Carlos Tavares: "This inauguration is the culmination of efforts undertaken several years ago to create ACC, with the aim of making it a Europea, with tn leader in the battery industry, based on technology developed in France."

"This inauguration is the culmination of efforts undertaken several years ago to create ACC, with the aim of making it a European leader in the battery industry, based on technology developed in France. The start of battery production at the same location where Stellantis used to produce – and still produces – internal combustion engines is a strong symbol. It shows how anticipation and constructive dialogue with our stakeholders – trade unions, employees, leading industrialists, local and regional elected officials, and the State – can help build a future for our employees in the context of intense change in our industry. The ACC Gigafactory will enable Stellantis' electric vehicles to be equipped with high-tech batteries, serving clean, safe, and affordable mobility for all", said Carlos Tavares, Chief Executive Officer of Stellantis.

“We are delighted to be inaugurating the Billy-Berclau Gigafactory today, and to have contributed the technology and know-how required for this project through our subsidiary Saft. As a multi-energy company, TotalEnergies is contributing to Europe's energy transition, which involves the electrification of energy uses. Our contribution to the development of ACC, as well as our investments in the development of batteries, the deployment of recharging infrastructures and the production of electricity, particularly renewable electricity, are all part of this process. TotalEnergies is thus contributing to the transformation of the European energy landscape and the emergence of a more sustainable economy”, declared Patrick Pouyanné, Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies.

With the implementation of two other gigafactories in Kaiserslautern (Germany) in 2025 and Termoli (Italy) in 2026, ACC's industrial capacity will reach 120 GWh at full capacity by 2030. 

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