Stellantis and Mercedes secure €4.4 billion for three giga-battery plants

Automotive Cells Company (ACC), the joint venture by Stellantis, TotalEnergies’ Saft, and Mercedes-Benz, has announced that its shareholders secured a €4.4 billion debt raising, increasing the funding for the construction of four new production facilities at three gigafactories for lithium-ion battery cell production in France, Germany, and Italy.

Future production sites include one factory in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and two in Termoli, Italy. On the French site, the construction of the second block started before launching construction works in the two other countries.

Consortium of private banks

The financing package is fully underwritten by a consortium of commercial banks: BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, ING, and Intesa Sanpaolo, and it is supported by Bpifrance, Euler Hermes, and SACE.

By the end of March 2024 and with the subsequent capital injection, Stellantis will own 45% of ACC’s shares, Mercedes-Benz 30%, and Saft 25%. Saft is a wholly owned daughter of TotalEnergies, specializing in battery design, development, and manufacturing.

ACC started actual production for Stellantis at its Billy-Berclau Douvrin Gigafactory (France), which was inaugurated in July 2023 on schedule in December 2023. On a more than 60,000-square-meter production area, the first production line has an annual capacity of more than 13 GWh.

Two more production lines will be built to bring the plant’s capacity to 40 GWh annually by 2030. In the first stage, the plant should produce 56,000 cells per day, enough for 2.4 million battery modules or 200,000 and 300,000 EVs annually, depending on their bulk and battery size. ACC claims that this output will be reached by the end of 2024.

The former PSA and the Total subsidiary Saft initiated the planning for the battery factory in Douvrin and one in Kaiserslautern. With the merger of PSA and FCA to form today’s Stellantis Group, the third ACC site was acquired in Termoli, Italy.

European flagship factory

With the commissioning of the factories in Kaiserslautern (from 2025) and Termoli (from 2026), which are also designed for up to 40 GWh, ACC aims to achieve a capacity of 120 GWh.

According to ACC, the battery factory in Douvrin is ‘a European flagship’, and not just because of the other facilities in Germany and Italy. France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union support the project. Mercedes-Benz later joined the cooperation between Stellantis and Total.

With the huge investments in the new European giga-battery factories, Stellantis and Mercedes want to secure battery supply independently from China, where most batteries are made today.

“The transition to the electrification of vehicles is still on the way,” says Yann Vincent, Chief Executive Officer of ACC. “To meet this immense challenge, our customers must be able to rely on robust and reliable European players like ACC, capable of delivering high volumes of competitive batteries with a low CO2 footprint. With this world-class financial community supporting us, we see clear evidence of the confidence that is placed in the ACC project.”

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