In Douvrin, in north-eastern France, the first European gigafactory for the production of batteries for electric cars was inaugurated. The plant starts with an annual production of 13.4 GWh and by 2030 will produce 40 GWh per year. The site is spread over 34 hectares and will be divided into three blocks, the first of which starts today, 30 May 2023. By 2030 it is expected to employ around 2,000 people.
Investments of over 7 billion
"Here we are in the future." So John Elkann, president of Stellantis, on the sidelines of the inauguration of the plant built by Acc, the joint venture between Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and TotalEnergies in Douvrin, in northeastern France. "It's a big European project," added Elkann, referring to the fact that this is only the first of three gigafactories that Acc will build in Europe. The second will be in Germany and the third in Italy, in Termoli, for a total investment of 7.3 billion euros, of which about 1.3 billion in public investments.
The inauguration was attended, for Italy, by the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso; for France Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, Minister of Energy Transition, and Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate of Industry; for Germany, Volker Wissing, Minister of Transport. The companies were attended by Yann Vincent, CEO of Acc, Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of TotalEnergies and Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, who arrived accompanied by President Elkann.
Next stops Kaiserlautern and Termoli
Acc's next step is the Kaiserslautern gigafactory in Germany, which is scheduled to start production in 2025, and then the one in Termoli, Italy, which is expected to start production in 2026. By 2030, all three gigafactories will have production annual production of 40 GWh, for a total production of 120 GWh, equal to about 2.5 million batteries that will equip the electric cars of Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz.
The estimate for Termoli is currently around 1,800, which could rise to 2,000 when it is fully operational. «Currently batteries represent about 40% of the cost of an electric car and most of them are made in Asia», explained Yann Vincent, CEO of Acc, adding that Acc is the «answer» to many challenges, including «the control of the production chain and the return to true industrial sovereignty".