Electric cars New “gigafactories” for batteries in Dunkirk and Gothenburg

While in Italy we are still awaiting details on the possible gigafactory of Termoli, in France they can already count on the start of a third project and in Sweden on a new initiative by Northvolt for the production of batteries for electric cars. Verkor, a startup owned, among others, by Renault, from the multinationals Schneider Electric, Capgemini and Arkema and from the French government, has chosen an area of ​​150 hectares near Dunkirk to build a new battery factory. In Sweden, however, the company co-founded by the Turin-based Paolo Cerruti has selected Gothenburg for its second plant in Sweden.

Investments and workforce. The French “gigafactory” will be built starting in 2023, once the public consultation procedures have been completed, and will not be far from the sites of the other two similar transalpine structures: in Douai, inside the “Electricity” polo shirt of Renault, a factory of the Envisionwhile in Douvrin it will be born establishment of the Acc, the joint venture between Stellantis, TotalEnergies and Mercedes. In its first phase of implementation, the Verkor project foresees investments for 2.5 billion euros and the creation of 1,200 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs. However, the workforce is destined to grow further up to almost 2,000 workers directly employed in production activities and up to 5,000 in related industries, also thanks to the expected expansion of production capacity from the 16 gigawatt hours indicated for 2025 to 50 GWh in 2030.

Operational since 2025. The plant is expected to churn out the first “low carbon and high performance” batteries by mid-2025 and reach volumes “sufficient to equip several hundred thousand electric vehicles every year”, mostly of Renault and Alpine. last year, the French company signed an agreement with Verkor to enter the capital with a stake of at least 20%, start an industrial collaboration for the development of high-performance batteries for segment C or higher cars and finance an R&D center in Grenoble, as well as a pilot line for the prototyping and production of battery cells and modules. The agreement also provides that part of the production capacity of the Dunkirk factory is destined exclusively to meet Renault’s requests: 10 GWh of batteries from 2026 and 20 by 2030.

The new Swedish project. Also in Gothenburg, production will be the prerogative of a specific car manufacturer, Volvo. In fact, the project falls within the equal joint venture launched last June with Northvolt to invest around 30 billion crowns (2.9 billion euros at current exchange rates) in an R&D center and in a latest generation battery plant to be used for electric models of the Volvo and Polestar brands. The two Swedish companies now intend to build the plant in Torslanda, the area within the municipality of Gothenburg, known for having Volvo’s largest assembly plant. The new “gigafactory”, whose construction work will begin in 2023, will go into operation in 2025, will create up to 3,000 jobs and have a production capacity of up to 50 GWh, enough to “supply batteries for around half a million cars all over the world. ‘year. ”The plant will thus join the factory that Northvolt has already made operational in Skellefteå, in the north of Sweden, also thanks to the capital provided by major automotive companies of the caliber of Volkswagen and BMWfrom important institutional investors such as the Turin-based company Compagnia di San Paolo and to the loans of numerous banks, including the Italian Intesa Sanpaolo.

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