Automotive manufacturer Renault Group announced today EV battery-focused partnerships with Envision and Verkor, which will see the establishment of major EV battery production capacity in France.

According to Renault, the agreements align with the company’s carbon neutrality goals, which are driven largely by electrification of its products. In October 2020, Renault announced a series of sustainability targets, including a commitment to achieve a zero CO2 impact by 2050 in Europe, and a goal have an electric or electrified version of all new models by 2022.

Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group, said:

“Our battery strategy builds on Renault Group’s 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.”

Renault is partnering with Chinese lithium and ion batteries manufacturer Envision AESC to develop a gigafactory in Douai with an expected capacity of 9 GWh in 2024, and aiming to reach 24 GWh by 2030. According to Renault, up to €2 billion will be invested in the development of low carbon and safe batteries. The new gigafactory will operate in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal for the development of closed-cycle recycling solutions for production waste and end-of-life batteries.

Lei Zhang, founder, and CEO of Envision Group, said:

“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 of more motorists. This first phase of 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.”

In addition to its partnership with Envision AESC, Renault signed an agreement with French industrial company Verkor to co-develop high-performance batteries, and to take a 20% stake in Verkor. The companies plan to build the first gigafactory for high performance batteries, with construction anticipated to begin in 2023, and initial production in 2026 with capacity of 10 GWh, potentially growing to 20 GWh by 2030.

Benoit Lemaignan, CEO of Verkor, said:

“We are proud to be associated with Renault Group 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 with our roadmap to generating 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.”

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