With the planned construction of an EV battery Gigafactory in Douai as part of the new ElectriCity industrial hub, Renault Group endeavours to create first EV ecosystem in Europe. Thanks to an investment of more than €3 billion, some 4,500 direct jobs will be created in France by 2030. French President, Emmanuel Macron, was joined by various ministers and local MPs – including Regional President Xavier Bertrand – as they visited the Renault factory in Douai. The visit was of particular importance for those who work at the site, as it served to officially recognise their commitment and expertise.
“Today, we are tackling the challenges of tomorrow, specifically, that of impending climate change. Investing in the electric vehicles and batteries is the only way to tackle modern issues and prepare for the future, by creating further jobs here in the Hauts de France."
Emmanuel Macron, President of France
Producing low carbon emitting batteries and working on closed-circuit recycling solutions of production by-products and end-of-life batteries are major assets for Renault Group in its efforts to become carbon neutral across Europe by 2040 and around the world by 2050. This is particularly so with electric vehicles making up 90% of all Renault sales by 2030. Last Monday, in an effort to move closer to reaching these targets, the Group announcing two partnerships for EV battery design and production:
A strategic partnership with Envision AESC – a global player in low-carbon batteries and long-term partner of Nissan – to set up a Gigafactory in Douai, as part of Renault ElectriCity, to produce last-generation, low-carbon, cost-competitive batteries. The Douai Gigafactory will reach a capacity of 9 GWh by 2024 and has a target of 24 GWh by 2030. It will be located near the Renault ElectriCity production sites at Douai, Maubeuge, and Ruitz.
A memorandum of understanding with French start-up Verkor to co-develop then manufacture high-performance batteries. The Grenoble-based start-up specializes in the development of battery cells. This partnership would initially involve funding R&D work at the Verkor Innovation Centre and work on a pilot project of French-based prototyping and production of battery cells and modules as early as 2022. Second, Verkor will roll out its plan to create the first Gigafactory of high-performance batteries in France, with an initial capacity of 10 GWh by 2026 – for Renault Group – and up to 20 GWh by 2030.
These two partnerships, along with work coming out of the Renault ElectriCity hub, will help with the creation of nearly 4,500 direct French jobs by 2030 and the development of EV battery manufacturing ecosystem right in the heart of Europe.
"The new partnerships with Envision AESC and Verkor will significantly strengthen our position to produce one million ‘made in Europe’ electric vehicles by 2030. This is the Group’s way of restating its willingness to produce popular, affordable, and cost-effective electric cars in France. ", said Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group.
Another milestone that goes hand in hand with other mechanisms already in place within Renault Group, such as the agreement with LG Chem which is currently a supplier for Renault’s EV range and will provide battery modules for the up-coming Megane E-TECH Electric.
"Producing large quantities of batteries will be crucial. Today, 85% of global battery production comes from Asia. Tomorrow, the Douai site will produce hundreds of thousands of batteries every year for French cars. These partnerships set Renault Group in the right direction and serve to further bolster the Alliance! “, said Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of the Board of Directors
"Today, we celebrate good news: that of attractiveness that has grown through the Envision investment; and that of employment. With the EV battery project developed in Douvrin, we see a true European valley for electric vehicles emerge."
Emmanuel Macron, President of France
The French President was shown the latest products that will drive the future of the three factories: All-New Kangoo for Maubeuge, All-New Megane E-TECH Electric for Douai, and a new battery tray for the Ruitz factory that also manufactures the E-TECH DB 35 gearbox.