- Renault announces the signing of two major partnerships in the field of the design and production of Electric Vehicles batteries:
- Renault enters into a strategic partnership with Envision AESC as it sets up a gigafactory in Douai, close to Renault ElectriCity, to support manufacture of latest technology, cost-competitive, low-carbon batteries to make electrical mobility more accessible in Europe.
- Renault signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the French start-up Verkor to co-develop and then manufacture high-performance batteries, with a view of owning a more than 20% stake in Verkor.
- 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.
- A new step along the path of the ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan, as the Group and its Alliance partners bolster their competitive edge and efficiency in the EV market.
Boulogne-Billancourt, June 28th, 2021 – Renault announces its strategy for EV battery design and production in France. A major milestone of the ‘Renaulution’ road map, the Group’s battery strategy comes to life through the signing of two major partnerships: with Envision AESC – a global player in world-leading battery technology and smart, digitalised, low-carbon battery plants, and a long-standing partner of Nissan – and Verkor, the Grenoble-based start-up specialized in development of EV battery cells. This strategy will help Renault become a more competitive and efficient EV player, accelerate its industrial transformation, and reach its ecological transition targets.
These two most recent partnerships go hand in hand with existing programmes within Renault , in particular the historic agreement with LG Chem which currently supplies battery modules for Renault’s electric range and for the upcoming MéganE. In parallel, there are on-going discussions with ACC to potentially join the ecosystem as of 2027. Research also continues within the Alliance to deploy solid battery technology from 2030, with the ASSB project (All Solid-State Battery technology).
“Our battery strategy builds on Renault ten years of experience and investment in the electric mobility value chain. The latest strategic partnerships with Envision AESC and Verkor greatly bolster our position as we ensure the Europe-based production of one million electric vehicles by 2030. This marks a major milestone as we strengthen our competitive edge, by rooting our Group in the underlying momentum of French industry and striving to reach our carbon neutrality objectives. The Group thus reaffirms its willingness to produce popular, affordable, and cost-effective electric cars in France” said Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault.
As part of its EV strategy, Renault is partnering with Envision AESC which will develop a gigafactory in Douai with a capacity of 9 GWh in 2024 and with aim of reaching 24 GWh by 2030. As the battery arm of global green tech company Envision, it will invest up to €2 billion to produce latest technology, cost-competitive, low-carbon and safe batteries for electric models, including the future R5. Thanks to this partnership, Envision AESC forecasts 2,500 new jobs by 2030.
The proximity of the Envision AESC’s gigafactory to Renault ElectriCity production sites at Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz, which will create 700 additional jobs in the Hauts-de-France region, means Renault can significantly boost its competitive edge and greatly improve the efficiency of its EV production chain.
Douai’s gigafactory opens the way for the production of low-carbon batteries as part of the objectives outlined in the European Green Deal and for the development of closed-loop recycling solutions for production waste and end-of-life batteries. In line with commitments made by the Renault, it will significantly contribute to achieving carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040 and worldwide by 2050, with EV sales making up 90% of all Renault brand sales by 2030.
“Envision mission is to be the net zero technology partner of choice for global enterprises, governments, and cities. We are therefore delighted that Renault chose Envision AESC batteries for its next generation of EVs. Investing to build a new gigafactory in northern France, we aim to support the net zero carbon transition by making high performance, longer range batteries and EVs affordable and accessible for millions more motorists. This first phase development will unlock future large-scale investment to grow the local supply chain and develop the whole life cycle opportunities of batteries, including energy storage, battery reuse, smart charging and closed loop recycling. It has the potential to create thousands of new high value green jobs as part of an end-to-end battery ecosystem in the region” said Lei Zhang, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envision.
In addition to its partnership with Envision AESC, Renault has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to become shareholder of Verkor with a stake of over 20% in the company and plans to join the consortium that was created around the French start-up in 2020. The consortium aims at tackling challenges relating to digitalisation, de-carbonisation, and the strengthening the French and European industries within the sector.
Renault and Verkor intend to develop jointly a high-performance battery suitable for the C and higher segments of the Renault range, as well as for the Alpine models. Together with the consortium, they will help create of more than 200 direct jobs.
The initial phases of the partnership will involve the financing of a R&D centre (Verkor Innovation Centre) and a pilot line for battery cell and module prototyping and production in France as early as 2022. The second phase will see Verkor moving forward to create the first gigafactory for high performance batteries in France, with an initial capacity of 10 GWh for the Renault from 2026, potentially rising to 20 GWh by 2030.
Cooperation between Renault and Verkor will be based on a common road map to reduce carbon emissions from battery manufacturing by 75% compared to traditional process, and to establish a supply chain that allows traceability and secures the availability of raw materials used in EV models.
“We are proud to be associated with Renault and look forward to delivering on our common vision of making e-mobility widely available, through this partnership. This is a major deal which demonstrates our progress along our roadmap to generate up to 50 GWh of battery cell production capacity by 2030 – a cornerstone in developing a competitive, sovereign and sustainable battery supply chain in Europe” said Benoit Lemaignan, CEO of Verkor.