Electricity.  ACC launches France’s first battery factory with great fanfare

Electricity. ACC launches France’s first battery factory with great fanfare

This Tuesday, May 30 will mark a turning point in the history of the French automotive industry. The Automotive Cell Company (ACC) launches in Douvrin (Pas-de-Calais) the first hexagonal battery factory, in front of five ministers, but also the bosses of Stellantis, Mercedes and TotalEnergies.

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The ACC factory, the first French factory, is located in the Battery Valley in northern France.


This is a historic event for the French car industry. This Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the Automotive Cell Company (ACC) inaugurates France’s first battery manufacturing plant in Douvrin (Pas-de-Calais). Spread over 34 hectares and currently employing 600 workers, the plant is targeting an initial production capacity of 13 GWh. By 2030, 2,000 workers will increase its capacity to 40 GWh, enough to supply 800,000 batteries per year for electric vehicles.

When the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron has expressed the desire of France to be able to produce 2 million electric cars on its land by 2030, the establishment of the ACC plant marks a change taken by the automotive industry, both tricolor and international. This explains the magnitude of the event, knowing that the ACC received a large French and European public subsidy, within the framework of France 2030 and an important project of common European interest (PIIEC).

The launch will take place in the presence of three French ministers – Bruno Le Maire (Economy, Finance and Industrial Excellence), Agnès Pannier-Runacher (Energy Transition) and Roland Lescure (Industry) – German Minister – Volker Wissing (Digital and Transport) – and Italian Minister – Adolfo Urso. Of course, Yann Vincent, general manager of the ACC, will be also present with the managers of the three shareholders (33.3% each) of the joint venture: Carlos Tavares (Stellantis), Ola Källenius (Mercedes-Benz) and Patrick Pouyanné (TotalEnergies).

Two other factories in Germany and Italy

ACC was created in 2020 by PSA (now Stellantis) and TotalEnergies through its subsidiary Saft, which provides the technology. Time Renault refused to join the project, preferring to partner with Envision AESC and Verkor, which are also each opening a gigafactory in France, the two former partners joined Mercedes-Benz in 2021.

In addition to its R&D center in Bruges (Gironde) and its test array in Nersac (Charente), ACC must also to build two more battery factories, one in Kaiserslautern (Germany), the other in Termoli (Italy). Each of them will have, as in Douvrin, a capacity of 40 GWh.

In the “Battery Valley” ecosystem.

As for this first French factory, it is part of the “Battery Valley”, which stretches from Dunkirk to Douai, in the Hauts-de-France region with a rich industrial history. After the ACC plant opens in 2023, Three more factories are expected in the region.

The one built by the Sino-Japanese company Envision AESC should be operational in Douai in 2024 with 9 GWh initially. By 2030, its capacity should reach 24 GWh. In 2025, it will be the turn of Verkor in Dunkirk to supply the Renault group, which owns 20% of the capital, 12 GWh of batteries per year. Finally, Taiwan’s ProLogium also recently confirmed the establishment of a fourth battery factory in Dunkirk, without specifying an expected date for the start of production.