Benefiting from the support of several manufacturers including Schneider Electric, Vektor plans to set up a new battery mega-factory in France to support the development of electric vehicles. Production is expected to start in 2023 with an initial capacity of 16 GWh.
Like Sweden’s Northvolt, Vektor is keen to find a place in the juicy battery market. Supported by EIT InnoEnergy, Schneider Electric and the IDEC Group, the young French startup plans to build a new Gigafactory. “Verkor is a response to the growing mismatch between expected battery demand and the already announced supply in Europe,” said the company’s first statement, which plans to start construction in 2022 and deliver its first cells the following year.
Initially, the site’s capacity could go up to 16 GWh. It can then climb to 50 GWh “depending on the future capacity of the market”. In practice, Schneider Electric will make its contribution in terms of industrial production while IDEC will be responsible for the plans for the plant and its location.
2,000 jobs at stake
Announcing the creation of 2,000 direct jobs, this new Gigafactory will be established in France. If the location of the site has not been communicated at this stage, Vektor estimates the necessary investment at 1.6 billion euros. An amount that will be partly financed by the various industrial partners of the project. The French government, which has expressed “strong support” for the project, is also expected to get its hands dirty through the various funding programs announced as part of the recovery plan. Ditto for the region that will host the project.
On a French scale, Vektor is not the first to announce a mega-factory project. Founded by the PSA group and Saft, a subsidiary of Total, the ACC (Automotive Cells Company) joint venture also plans to produce cells on a large scale. Installed in Nersac, near Angoulême, a first pilot plant will allow small-scale production to be tested before starting the construction of two sites with much larger capacities. These will be divided between Douvrin, in Pas-de-Calais, and Kaiserlautern, in Germany.