European EV Battery Boom with Stellantis & Mercedes-Benz

Stellantis, TotalEnergies & Mercedes-Benz team up for €7bn EV battery factory investment with ACC, propelling Europe as a battery powerhouse against China

At the start of 2024, Chinese EV-maker BYD revealed that it sold 526,000 battery-only vehicles in the final quarter of 2023, outselling Tesla for the first time. One of BYD’s biggest sources of success is that it manufactures the most expensive part of the product - the batteries, instead of relying on third-parties. 

Now, the European EV market is poised to take on China’s lead, as Stellantis, TotalEnergies and Mercedes-Benz have raised nearly €4.4bn (US$4.7bn) to build four EV gigafactories in the European Union. Together, they plan to raise €7bn (US$7.5bn) to build the factories for their co-owned battery maker ACC.

 

Rising electric vehicle battery investment in Europe

Stellantis is a motor manufacturer based in Amsterdam. The company recently opened its first circular economy hub, to advance its sustainability campaign. This is based on the 4R strategy: Reman, Repair, Reuse and Recycle. Now the company wants to open more battery factories in Europe, in order to protect itself against Chinese competition. 

“The Chinese offensive is possibly the biggest risk that companies like Tesla and ourselves are facing right now,’’ said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. “We have to work very, very hard to make sure that we bring our consumers better offerings than the Chinese.”

The French oil and gas company TotalEnergies invested over US$16bn in 2023 into low carbon energies and renewables. Now, the company is on track to support electric mobility across the continent. 

In 2021, Stellantis and TotalEnergies agreed to welcome luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz in as a new partner of ACC. Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said that the company looked forward to efficiently producing battery cells and modules in Europe.

“Mercedes-Benz pursues a very ambitious transformation plan and this investment marks a strategic milestone on our path to CO2 neutrality,” said Källenius.

 

Building a competitive battery industry in Europe

Bruges-based electronics manufacturer ACC is proud of reaching the funding milestone and is excited to become a key European player in sustainable mobility.

Yann Vincent, CEO of ACC, described the fundraising news as the start of an incredible industrial adventure.

“This debt raising is of utmost importance for ACC and obviously calls for competitiveness in our duties,” said Vincent. “ACC is on the way and we are committed to building a competitive European Battery Industry.”

ACC thanked its shareholders for their support, as well as the banks who placed their trust in the battery project, including BNP Paribas, ING, Deutsche Bank and Intesa Sanpaolo. The French and German governments have also contributed. 

The electric vehicle battery gigafactories will create 6,000 new jobs and will be built in:

  • Kaiserslautern, Germany 
  • An undecided location in France
  • Termoli, Italy, will host two factories.

But ACC is not alone in its European-based battery production. Swedish lithium-ion battery manufacturer Northvolt raised an additional US$5bn, receiving the biggest-ever EU green loan. The company aims to build battery factories in Poland, Germany and Sweden. Together, ACC and Northvolt are making Europe a hotbed of EV battery production, which will help the continent stand independently against China. 
 

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