Image source: Renault Group
Renault Groupe (OTC: RNLSY ) announced two partnerships on Monday aimed at boosting the production of electric car batteries in France.
In a press release, the French carmaker said the new partnerships with China’s Envision AESC and French start-up Verkor will enable it to create an EV hub capable of churning out 400,000 cars annually.
Envision AESC is investing up to 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) to develop a gigafactory in Douai, near two of the automaker’s existing facilities in northern France. Envision AESC, the battery arm of global green tech company Envision Group, said the new plant will have a capacity of 9 gigawatt hours by 2024 and grow to 24 gigawatt hours by 2030.
Renault also announced it signed a memorandum of understanding with Verkor, a battery cell producer, to co-develop and manufacture high-performance batteries. Under the agreement, Renault would acquire a stake of just over 20% in the company.
The companies plan to launch a pilot production line in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in France in 2022. The following year, Verkor will open a battery factory that has a capacity of 16 gigawatts, with ten gigawatt hours earmarked for Renault. Production could hit 50 gigawatt hours in 2030, 20 of which would be reserved for the automaker.
Renault’s chief executive officer Luca de Meo said the combination of the partnerships will create nearly 4,500 jobs in France by 2030 and develop “a robust battery manufacturing ecosystem in the heart of Europe.”
De Meo also said the deals will “greatly bolster our position as we ensure the Europe-based production of one million electric vehicles by 2030” and mark “a major milestone as we strengthen our competitive edge.”
Bloomberg News noted that part of de Meo’s turnaround vision for the struggling car company calls for 90% of Renault brand sales to come from EVs by the end of the decade.
Many carmakers are trying to reduce their dependence on Asia for batteries as they launch all-electric models to meet stricter CO2 emissions targets in the European Union.
Geely Holding’s Volvo Car Group recently announced a joint venture with Swedish battery start-up Northvolt to build a new gigafactory in Europe and develop sustainable batteries for the premium automaker and its electric-only sister brand Polestar.
Porsche AG also unveiled plans to develop and produce high-performance battery cells for electric sports cars under a new joint venture with German lithium-ion specialist Custom Cells GmbH.
Earlier this year, Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen Group, announced its plan to open six battery factories across Europe and invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure around the world.
Source: Equities News