A new 16 GWh battery gigafactory initiative emerges for 2023

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A new French group of companies – comprising the start-up Verkor, EIT InnoEnergy, Schneider Electric and the IDEC GROUP – has announced a project to build a gigafactory of EV battery cells in France.The plan is to start production by 2023 with an initial release of 16 GWh annually, then gradually increase to 50 GWh based on demand for EV and energy storage.

The initial investment is expected to amount to 1.6 billion euros (1.88 billion dollars) and would create more than 2,000 direct jobs. The group is currently looking for more than 200 hectares of optimal land.

The press release doesn’t say who the customer would be, but we do know who probably won’t because the PSA Group has its own gigafactory projects (one in France and one in Germany).

As there are two large automotive groups in France, PSA and Renault, we can assume that the Verkor project would be an opportunity for Renault to partially diversify its battery supply chain.

Verkor says that this decade, France alone “Will require two to three gigafactories”.

Regardless, Verkor in France is unlike any other budding battery maker, as are Britishvolt in the UK and Northvolt in Sweden. The evolution of the industry is quite interesting – initially we saw battery factories built by established battery makers, sometimes in partnership with car makers, and now new factories to be built from scratch, literally. . But can it be successful without its own technology?

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