ACC "Automotive Cells Company) is a joint venture between Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and TotalEnergies to establish a new giant in the field of batteries for electric cars: a gigafactory. Today the inauguration in the north of France, in Billy-Berclau/Douvrin. The plant has an extension of 60,000 square meters, with a first production line with a capacity of over 13 GWh to reach the capacity of 40 GWh by 2030, with the creation of about 2,000 direct jobs by 2030.
"Here we are in the future," said John Elkann, president of Stellantis, on the sidelines of the inauguration. "It's a big European project," Elkann added, referring to the fact that this is only the first of three gigafactories that ACC will build in Europe.
The second will be in Germany and the third in Italy, in Termoli, for a total investment of 7.3 billion euros, of which about 1.3 billion in public investments.
The ACC is an initiative launched in 2020 with the aim of producing cells and modules for energy storage, which are then assembled to build car batteries.
"This inauguration is the culmination of the efforts undertaken over several years to create ACC, with the aim of making it a European leader in the battery sector, based on a technology developed in France," commented Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis.
Stellantis is a Dutch multinational holding company producing motor vehicles, born from the merger between the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA groups, and controls fourteen car brands: Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, FIAT, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram Trucks and Vauxhall.
"The start of battery production at the same site where Stellantis has produced, and still produces, internal combustion engines is a strong symbol," says Tavares. "It shows how anticipation and constructive dialogue with our stakeholders – trade unions, employees, large industrialists, local and regional elected representatives, the state, can help build a future for our employees in a context of major changes in our industry. The dynamics of ACC will make it possible to equip Stellantis electric vehicles with high-tech batteries, at the service of clean, safe and affordable mobility", concludes Tavares.
We are not far from the cities of Lille and Lens, this great project is also the answer to the challenges launched by giants such as China on the electric battery market. The inauguration was also attended by the CEO of ACC, Yann Vincent, the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, the French ministers Bruno Le Maire, Agnes Pannier-Runachere and Roland Lescure, the Minister of Transport French Volker Wissing and the CEO of Mercedes Ola Kallenius.
Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Finance French at the Inauguration of Automotive Cells Company Gigafactory
The Douvrin site was created in 1969 by Renault and Peugeot, who each owned 50% of the company, since 2013 it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Groupe PSA, which became Stellantis in 2021. Thousands of workers worked in this industrial center, in the image below workers at the assembly line of gasoline engines in the seventies.
Workers at the Française de Mécanique factory in Douvrin, Pas-de-Calais, France