The French vehicle manufacturer Renault has sealed partnerships with China’s Envision Group and France’s Verkor to produce electric car batteries in northern France, to power its affordable range of vehicles.
Carmakers globally are racing to keep ahead of rivals in producing cleaner vehicles, a technology shift that is already prompting Germany’s Volkswagen to build six battery cell plants of its own in Europe.
Renault is the latest among European automakers to map out a battery plan in recent months, a sign that competition to ensure adequate supply for their electric cars is heating up.
Renault’s plans will “greatly bolster our position as we ensure the Europe-based production of 1 million electric vehicles by 2030,” Chief Executive Officer Mr. Luca de Meo said in the statement.
The French automaker made the announcement, which confirmed earlier media reports, before a visit of President Emanuel Macron to the Douai site in northern France where Envision is investing up to $2.4 billion close to “Renault ElectriCity” electric car hub to create 2,500 new jobs by 2030.
Renault has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the French startup Verkor to co-develop and then manufacture high-performance batteries, to own more than 20 percent stake in it.
“The combination of these two partnerships with Renault ElectriCity will create nearly 4,500 direct jobs in France by 2030 while developing a robust battery manufacturing ecosystem in the heart of Europe,” the automaker said in a statement.
Envision’s gigafactory in Douai will have a capacity of 9 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2024 and with aim of reaching 24 GWh by 2030.
Verkor is planning to start work on a battery factory in France in 2023 for 16 GWh, with 10 GWh going to Renault, it said in a separate statement. Production could reach 50 GWh in 2030 with 20 GWh going to the automaker.