Stellantis (STLA) teams with Mercedes and TotalEnergies to open France's first EV battery plant

May 30, 2023 9:53 AM EDT

Automotive Cells Company (ACC), a partnership between French energy giant TotalEnergies, Germany's Mercedes-Benz and US-European automaker Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), held an opening ceremony Tuesday to welcome the first electric vehicle battery plant in France.

The plant in Billy-Berclau is the first in a series of factories set to open over the next three years in a strategically located northern corridor billed as a "Battery Valley". A name recognizing the region as a hub for the rapidly growing industry.

During the inauguration ceremony, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire drew a parallel between the newly opened factory and the transformative impact of Airbus, which propelled Europe to become a dominant force in the field of aircraft manufacturing.

"The European Union must flex its muscles" in terms of industry as "China will give no quarter", he said.

German Transport Minister Volker Wissing said the facility, along with two other ACC factories scheduled to open in Germany and Italy, will ensure that "Europe remains at the forefront of global progress tomorrow".

The ACC factory marks the inaugural establishment among a series of four upcoming factories in the "Battery Valley" located in the Hauts-de-France region.

AESC-Envision, a Sino-Japanese consortium, is currently constructing a plant near the city of Douai, which is set to supply French automaker Renault starting in early 2025.

Meanwhile, French startup Verkor has slated the beginning of production at their Dunkirk facility for mid-2025.

In addition, Taiwan's ProLogium has selected the coastal city as the location for its inaugural overseas factory, with production scheduled to launch in 2026.

Aligned with the French government's objective of producing two million electric vehicles annually by 2030, the ACC plant anticipates supplying 500,000 vehicles per year by that time.

Shares of STLA are up 0.31% in early trading on Tuesday.

By Michael Elkins | [email protected]

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