Renault indicators gigafactory offers with Chinese language and French corporations
A Renault electric car will be charged on April 10, 2020 in Berlin.
Annette Riedl | Image Alliance | Getty Images
Renault announced on Monday that it has signed “two major partnerships” related to the development and production of batteries for electric vehicles, becoming the newest automotive company to try to stay ahead of the competition in the increasingly dense e-mobility space to be.
In a statement, the French automaker announced it would partner with China’s Envision AESC, which will develop a gigafactory in Douai, northern France. According to Renault, this system should have a capacity of 9 gigawatt hours by 2024 and grow to 24 GWh by 2030.
Envision AESC is part of the larger Envision Group, a self-described “Greentech” company headquartered in Shanghai. Renault said Envision AESC will invest up to 2 billion euros ($ 2.38 billion) “to produce the latest technology, low-cost, low-carbon and safe batteries for electric models.”
Renault also announced on Monday that it had signed a letter of intent to acquire more than 20% of a French company called Verkor. Other shareholders in the Grenoble-based company are Schneider Electric, Capgemini, EIT InnoEnergy and Groupe IDEC.
In his own statement on the deal, Verkor said, “As part of the partnership, construction of Verkor’s first Gigafactory will begin in 2023. The initial capacity will reach 16 GWh, of which 10 GWh will be for the Renault Group, with a total annual capacity target of 50 GWh by 2030, of which 20 GWh will go to the Renault Group. ”
The company added that it will also advance plans to build a research and development facility focused on the design of “innovative battery cells and modules”.
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Renault is not an isolated case when it comes to making batteries for electric vehicles. Volkswagen announced in March that it wanted to set up several “gigafactories” in Europe by the end of the decade.
“Together with partners, we want to put a total of six cell factories into operation in Europe by 2030,” said Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, in a statement at the time. This move, he added, would guarantee “security of supply”.
According to VW, the factories are expected to be able to produce battery cells with a combined energy value of 240 gigawatt hours per year once they are fully operational.
All of this comes at a time when governments around the world are trying to increase the number of electric vehicles on their roads to tackle air pollution and move away from the internal combustion engine.
The UK, for example, has announced that it will stop selling new diesel and gasoline cars and vans from 2030. The “Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy” of the European Commission aims to get at least 30 million emission-free cars on the road by 2030.
Change seems to be on the map. According to a report by the International Energy Agency at the end of April, around 3 million new electric cars were registered last year, a record high and an increase of 41% compared to 2019.
On Monday, Wood Mackenzie said battery electric vehicles “will become the dominant form of road transport by 2050 and account for 56% of all vehicle sales that year”. In contrast, vehicles with internal combustion engines will only account for 18% of sales.
According to a report by the research and consulting company, 875 million electric cars will be on the road by the middle of this century, plus 5 million fuel cell vehicles and 70 million commercial vehicles.
“Net zero is the new mantra and road traffic is one of the low-hanging fruits,” said Ram Chandrasekaran, Wood Mackenzie director of road traffic.
“A growing list of countries and automakers are committed to carbon neutral targets and this has completely changed the global road transport landscape,” added Chandrasekaran.