France to open its first electric car battery factory

(EurActiv, 30 May 2023) France will launch its first battery factory for electric cars on Tuesday (30 May), taking a big step in its race to build up a sector dominated by China.

Building up the battery industry is at the heart of President Emmanuel Macron’s “reindustrialisation” plan for France, with a clutch of factories set to emerge in the north of the country over the next three years.

The “gigafactory” opening in Billy-Berclau is owned by Automotive Cells Company, a partnership between French energy giant TotalEnergies, Germany’s Mercedes-Benz and US-European automaker Stellantis, which produces a range of brands including Peugeot, Fiat and Chrysler.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire and the country’s energy transition and industry ministers will attend the inauguration, along with German and Italian officials.

The heads of Mercedes, Stellantis and TotalEnergies will also be at the event.

The factory is the length of six football pitches. Production is due to begin this summer.

Elected officials and business leaders hope to turn the Hauts-de-France region into “Battery Valley” – the electric car industry’s answer to Silicon Valley.

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EurActiv, 30 May 2023: France to open its first electric car battery factory