Partnership between Total and PSA in the production of electric batteries

  •   31/01/2020 - 15h08
  •   Adeline HARMANT

This morning of January 31, 2020, we have just learned that the Total Group and the PSA Group have decided to join forces in a partnership with the aim of creating a kind of "Airbus" of batteries for electric vehicles. The project will be based on a state-of-the-art research and development protocol to be provided by the Total Saft subsidiary.

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Partnership between Total and PSA in the production of electric batteries
Image copyright: Alexandre Prevot - Flickr

An "Airbus" of batteries under development:

In this morning's press release, Saft, a subsidiary of Total, and the Peugeot-Citroën group and its subsidiary Opel announced their intention to jointly develop a battery production business for electric vehicles in Europe. To this end, these companies intend to set up a joint venture to be called the "Automotive Cell Company".

The purpose of this joint venture will therefore be advanced research and development, in particular by Saft, with the aim of producing batteries for electric vehicles by 2023. As you will have understood, the first stage of this collaboration will concern R&D activities including the creation of new products and services.ation of a pilot plant on the site of the Saft plant located in Nersac, which is scheduled to start up in mid 2021. This plant will require an investment of more than €200 million and will subsequently allow investment in a larger-scale manufacturing plant with a capacity of 8 GWh at first, then 24 GWh in the long term and which will undoubtedly be located in the Haut de France region. A second plant should then be deployed in Germany with an equivalent capacity and by the end of 2030, representing a cumulative capacity of around 48 GWh.

The partnership project between these two major groups will therefore enable the production of more than one million batteries each year, which represents no less than 10 to 15% of the European market. In total, therefore, almost EUR 5 billion will have to be made available in order to carry out this most ambitious project and complete this programme.


A project supported by the European authorities :

This large-scale project will of course be supported by the European authorities and above all by the German and French governments. In total, this project should therefore receive more than €1.3 billion in public support as part of its development and through an IPCEI project authorised by the European Commission.

With regard to the legal and administrative details of this project, it should also be noted that the joint venture ACC or Automotive Cell Company will be equally owned by Saft and Opel with regard to the pilot line. In the industrial phase, Saft will hold only 33% of this project.