Attracted by the huge potential of electric-car batteries, which are touted by some as the petroleum of the new century, Total, one of the world’s six largest petroleum companies, and PSA, the world’s fourth-largest auto group, has joined hands in building an electric-car lithium battery plant in Europe.
The project will be carried out by Saft, a subsidiary of Total, and Opel, under the auspices of PSA. Acquired by Total in 2016, Saft produces batteries in a wide range of fields, including emergency lighting, micro-battery, and even batteries for jet fighters and rocket launch systems.
The joint venture calls for the construction of two battery plants, one in France for the first stage and the other in Germany for the second stage, with a capacity of 24 GWh each. With initial investment of 200 million euros, the first-stage project is scheduled to break ground in 2021 before inauguration in 2023. After completion of the second-stage project in 2030, the two plants will turn out 1 million sets of battery annually. Total investment will top 5 billion euros, including 1.3 billion euros of subsidy from the European Union and the governments of Germany and France.
Each party will own a 50% stake in the joint venture, dubbed “Automotive Cell Company,” but Saft’s share will drop to 33% after launch of production.
(Photo courtesy of Saft)