Groupe PSA/Opel and energy company Total announced the creation of ACC, a joint venture aimed at establishing a world-class player in the development and manufacture of high-performance batteries for the automotive industry in Europe, with production aimed to begin in 2023.

ACC has named Yann Vincent, currently Executive Vice President, Industrial & Supply-Chain and Executive Committee Member at Groupe PSA, as CEO. Ghislain Lescuyer, Chairman of Total’s battery development company Saft Groupe, has been appointed Chairman of the Board.

Carlos Tavares, Chairman of Groupe PSA, said:

“The construction of the European battery consortium that we wished for is now a reality. I would like to pay special tribute to the commitment of the Total/Saft and Groupe PSA/Opel teams who have made this project come true. This new step is consistent with our central purpose: “to offer citizens clean, safe and affordable mobility” and gives Groupe PSA a competitive advantage in the context of growing sales of electric vehicles. ACC takes Groupe PSA further along the road to carbon neutrality.”

According to the companies, Total/Saft will contribute its expertise in R&D and industrialization, and Groupe PSA its knowledge of the automotive market and its experience in production. Development of the new high-performance lithium-ion technologies at an R&D centre in Bordeaux and a pilot site in Nersac, France.  At the end of the R&D phase, mass production could be launched in two gigafactories, in Douvrin, France and Kaiserslautern, Germany.

The companies stated that the JV aims to address the substantial growth anticipated in the coming years for electric vehicles and battery technology in Europe, with the market expected to reach 400 GWh by 2030, 15x current levels. ACC anticipates an initial production capacity of 8 GWh, reaching a cumulative capacity of 48 GWh on both sites by 2030, representing 1 million electric vehicles per year, or more than 10% of the European market.

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman of Total said: 

“The creation of ACC illustrates Total’s commitment to meet the challenge of climate change and to develop as a broad energy company, a major player in the energy transition, by continuing to provide affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy. Our ambition is to leverage the recognized expertise of our subsidiary SAFT in batteries and the industrial know-how of our partner PSA to meet the strong growth of electric vehicles in Europe. I would like to offer my encouragement to the teams who will be joining ACC to make this adventure a real European technological and industrial success.”

French and German public authorities will support the venture with funding of €1.3 billion. The initiative received the European institutions agreement through an IPCEI project, testifying to the strategic importance of mobility for the energy transition. The whole project will require investment of more than €5 billion.