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French company Verkor on course to establish Europe’s first Gigafactory for battery cells

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French industrial company, Verkor, has received support of EIT InnoEnergy, Schneider Electric and the GROUPE IDEC which sets it on its course to create Europe’s first Gigafactory of battery cells, aimed primarily at electric vehicles and stationary storage.

Production in Verkor’s first Gigafactory is scheduled to begin in 2023, with a capacity of 16GWh of battery cells which will increase to 50GWh in line with market dynamics. The facility will require an initial investment of €1.6bn and will create more than 2,000 jobs. The search for 200+ hectares of land is already underway.

“Combined with the expertise of our strategic partners, I am confident that we are aligning the winning conditions to start the construction of a highly efficient manufacturing Gigafactory in 2022, deliver our first cells in 2023, and stepping up of industrial activities, key to accelerating low carbon mobility in Europe,” said Benoit Lemaignan, Verkor CEO.

Verkor was founded in response to the growing gap between the expected demand for batteries and the committed and planned European supply. Indeed, the expected growth in demand this decade will require three to four Gigafactories in France alone. The European industrial ecosystem is therefore compelled to establish a sustainable and indigenous European battery supply chain, which in turn will reduce reliance on imports.

France’s affordable and low-carbon electricity, prominent automotive manufacturers, leading energy providers, and its demonstrated industrial knowledge make it the ideal location for Gigafactories in southern Europe, a region which falls short of such projects when compared to northern and central Europe.

“The first Verkor Gigafactory will help bridge the gap between Europe’s planned demand and currently forecasted European supply in this decade. Verkor’s unique value proposition on manufacturing optimisation and excellence is welcome,” said Diego Pavia, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy.

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