A second battery factory for electric cars will be set up in the Hauts-de-France region. It will mainly supply Renault.
The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, announces this Monday the opening of a giant factory of batteries for electric vehicles in Douai (North). It will be capable of producing 9 GWh per year and will mainly supply Groupe Renault from 2024. Here’s what you need to know.
A Chinese investor
If Renault will be the main customer of this plant, the tool will not belong to the Losange. The site will be owned by Chinese giant Envision-AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation). AESC was a Sino-Japanese joint venture founded in 2007. Nissan was one of the major shareholders: it notably assembles the lithium-ion batteries for the first and second generation Leaf. The Chinese Wind specialist Envision bought the bulk of the company’s shares in 2019. If the group brings 2 billion euros in the case, the public authorities also participated in the project. The state and local communities add 200 million euros to the basket. 60 to 100 million euros are also arriving in the form of European funds.
9, then 24 GWh
Envision AESC estimates that 9 million gigawatt hours of production capacity in 2024. Knowing that a Renault Zoe is equipped with a 52 kWh battery, 170,000 vehicles could be fitted with “made in Douai” cells each year from launch. In 2030, the plant could increase in capacity to expect an annual production of 24 GWh, depending on the evolution of the market.
1,000 jobs at stake
Construction of the site will take place between 2022 and 2024. 1,000 jobs will be created initially before a possible extension: “there is the potential to reach up to 2,500 jobs by 2030” estimates the Elysee.
Batteries for the Renault 5
The cells manufactured in Douai will primarily be delivered to Renault, which has three nearby sites (Maubeuge, Ruitz and Douai). They will be adopted in particular by the future Renault 5, scheduled for the Losange catalog in three years.
=> Video discovery of the Renault 5
Eventually, other manufacturers could obtain supplies from Douai. According to the JDD, Envision AESC could obtain the battery assembly for Jaguar Land Rover.
A valley of the battery?
The Envision AESC plant will be the second battery complex installed in the Hauts-de-France region. The Stellantis group (formerly PSA and Fiat-Chrysler) and Total Energies (via its subsidiary Saft) are already partners in a joint venture called Automotive Cells Company (AOC). This one will build a battery manufacturing plant in Douvrin (Pas-de-Calais) adjoining the famous Française de Mécanique, 40 kilometers from Douai.
Among the assets of Hauts-de-France is a qualified workforce and an excellent network of railways and roads capable of transporting materials and vehicles throughout Europe.
Photo of a: Renault factory in Douai (Nord) / Credit: IGN / Geoportail
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