All hail the French Revo… no, sorry, “Renaulution!” That’s what the Renault Group is calling its electric vehicle strengthening strategy, which has nothing to do with the “liberty, equality, fraternity” motto, but with the design and production of EV batteries.
Today, the Group announced two major partnerships that will significantly enhance its efficiency and competitiveness in the EV market.
Firstly, the Renault Group is teaming up with Chinese battery tech company and manufacturer Envision AESC. Together, they will construct a gigafactory in Douai, Northern France, in close proximity to the Renault ElectriCity industrial hub.
As per the company, the Douai gigafactory will claim a 9 GWh capacity in 2024, with the aim of reaching 24 GWh by 2030.
The alliance plans to produce cost-competitive, low carbon batteries that will help keep EV production local.
It will also focus on energy storage, battery reuse, smart charging, and closed-loop recycling to support the Renault Group achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040.
The second alliance involves French start-up Verkor, which specializes in battery cell development.
The Group will become a shareholder with a stake of over 20%, and the two companies will collaborate on developing a high-performance battery, suitable for Renault’s C and higher range segments, as well as for the Alpine models.
The initial investment phase will target a pilot line for battery cell and module prototyping and production in France in 2022. In a later stage, Verkor is set to create the first gigafactory for high performance batteries in the country, starting with a capacity of 10 GWh from 2026, and potentially reaching 20 GWh by 2030.
According to the Group’s statement:
The combination of these two partnerships with Renault ElectriCity industrial cluster will create nearly 4,500 direct jobs in France by 2030, while developing a robust battery manufacturing ecosystem in the heart of Europe.
With other automakers such as Volvo and Volkswagen eyeing the establishment of their own EV battery gigafactories in the old continent, it seems that Europe will indeed be the “next big thing” in battery production. So the French car maker should hurry up the “renaulution” if they want to stay ahead of the game.
Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up?
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