A number of companies and public/private partnerships are working to build a competitive and sustainable battery cell supply chain in Europe. One of these is the French battery startup Verkor, which just announced an agreement with the Renault Group to develop and manufacture battery cells.
Renault Group will acquire a stake of around 20% in Verkor. The construction of Verkor’s first gigafactory will start in 2023. Initial capacity is slated to be 16 GWh, of which 10 GWh will be allocated to the Renault Group. Total annual capacity is expected to reach 50 GWh by 2030.
Verkor aims to build “the most digital, sustainable, and efficient gigafactory in Europe by embedding it in a competitive and transparent local value chain. Numerous partnerships have been formed to this end and will be announced over the next few weeks.”
Verkor will also move ahead with plans to build the Verkor Innovation Centre, an R&D facility that will design new battery cells and modules. The facility, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, will include a pilot line for battery cell testing, module prototyping and smaller-scale manufacturing.
“This is a first step in a series of major announcements to come over the following weeks which will demonstrate our progress in our plan to generate up to 50 GWh of battery cell production capacity by 2030—a cornerstone in developing a competitive, sovereign and sustainable battery supply chain in Europe,” said Benoit Lemaignan, CEO and co-founder of Verkor.
“By joining forces with Verkor, we are accelerating the production of high-performance low-carbon batteries in France, for Europe,” said Luca de Meo, CEO of the Renault Group. “This project will benefit from Verkor team’s cutting-edge skills in the cell industry. Attracting and retaining top global talents, coming from over 14 countries, the Verkor team capitalizes on a unique experience in the battery field.”