Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Stellantis transforms its Italian factory into a battery production site

Written by Marie-Cécile Audibert on Thursday, March 24th 2022 à 16:50 | Read 821 times

ACC's Centre of Excellence in Nersac was inaugurated on 1 March 2022 (photo: ACC)
ACC's Centre of Excellence in Nersac was inaugurated on 1 March 2022 (photo: ACC)
ITALY / FRANCE / GERMANY. On Wednesday 23 March 2022, Stellantis reaffirmed its commitment to transforming its Termoli plant, in southern Italy on the Adriatic coast, into a production site for batteries for electric vehicles. The Italian government committed last month to providing €369m of public funding to support the investment, estimated at around €2bn by Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis.

Born from the December 2020 merger of France's Peugeot S.A. (PSA) and Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) approved in February 2021 by the European Commission, the car manufacturer has been officially associated since September 2020 with Total and its wholly-owned subsidiary Saft, which specialises in the design, manufacture and marketing of electric batteries, in Automative Cells Company (ACC).

At the time, this joint venture planned to open a factory in Douvrin (southwest of Lille) for Peugeot and Citroën and another in Kaiserslautern (Germany) for Opel, while Saft was already producing lithium-ion batteries in Nersac (France, near Angoulème). Since then, an R&D site has been set up in France at Bruges (near Bordeaux) and a centre of excellence at Nersac (with a training centre), which will be inaugurated on 1 March 2022, to test the operational line that will be installed at Douvrin and Kaiserslautern.

7 billion in investments

Termoli, which used to manufacture engines (notably for the Autobianchi Y10 and the Fiat Panda and then Uno), will therefore be the third gigafactory to be set up by ACC.

The other news is the finalisation of the agreement integrating Mercedez-Benz into the joint venture's quartet, "in equal parts with TotalEnergies/Saft and Stellantis", reveals the press release published on Wednesday 23rd March 2022 by Stellantis.

Thanks to this arrival, ACC will increase the announced industrial capacity of 48 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries, i.e. 24 GWh per site. It will reach at least 120 GWh by 2030 with the doubling of the capacity of the French and German plants and thus the third Italian one. The total investment by the four partners in these new production units should represent more than €7 billion, compared with the €5 billion (including €1.3 billion of French and German public support) initially planned.

"The transformation of the existing plant - to help build a more sustainable future - will position ACC as the European leader in battery production and allows us to reaffirm, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Economic Development, the role of Italy alongside Stellantis in transforming our company into a tech company for sustainable mobility", commented Carlos Tavares.

As part of its Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, presented on 1 March 2022, Stellantis plans to sell five million electric passenger vehicles per year worldwide by 2030 and 50% of passenger vehicles and pick-ups in the US. It plans to install five gigafactories.

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