Mercedes-Benz joins the Automotive Cells Company (ACC) battery joint venture between PSA Group (currently Stellantis) and Total as the third partner.

The ACC was established in September 2020 with a goal to build two battery cell and module gigafactories with a total output of 48 GWh annually by 2030 (one in Germany and one in France). The planned investment stands at roughly €5 billion (including substantial incentives).

With the arrival of Mercedes-Benz, the plan has been updated and through a total investment of more than €7 billion, the ACC intends to produce at least 120 GWh of batteries by 2030.

Each of the three partners - Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis and TotalEnergies - have an equal share of 1/3 of the ACC, but first, the agreement must obtain all the necessary approvals.

"Stellantis, TotalEnergies and Mercedes-Benz have entered into agreements to welcome Mercedes-Benz as a new partner of Automotive Cells Company (ACC). Following its entry, the partners commit to increase ACC’s industrial capacity to at least 120 GWh by 2030. The transaction is subject to agreement on definitive documentation and customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals."

Automotive Cell Company (ACC)

According to the press release, Mercedes-Benz will bring to the ACC its research and development expertise.

ACC will be supported by a winning trio of partners that combine:

  • A deep technological expertise in battery development with Saft, an affiliate of TotalEnergies, which has more than 100 years of experience in the field of long-life batteries and battery systems.
  • A leading global mobility player with Stellantis that has a clear mission to provide cutting-edge technology to ensure freedom of movement for all through distinctive, appealing, affordable and sustainable mobility solutions.
  • The research and development expertise of Mercedes-Benz, along with its support to the expansion of ACC’s production facilities based on the brand’s benchmark quality standards.

Yann Vincent, CEO of ACC said:

“To have Mercedes-Benz join us as a new shareholder is a major milestone for ACC. Mercedes-Benz will bring a vote of confidence in our technology roadmap and product competitiveness that significantly strengthens ACC’s business potential and underpins our ambitious growth plans. This is our contribution to an electric and sustainable future.”

The construction of the first 24 GWh gigafactory (initially 8 GWh) in Kaiserslautern, in Rhineland-Palatinate state, Germany, is scheduled for 2023. A similar plant will be built also in Grance, probably a year later.

We guess that with Mercedes-Benz on board, ACC will increase the planned capacity and/or will add an additional gigafactory in Germany.

The main question is whether Total's Saft battery subsidiary is able to lead the development of competitive automotive battery cells.

The example image indicates that ACC opts for a prismatic battery cell form factor (250 Ah capacity) and lithium-ion NMC (or NCM) cathode chemistry.

Automotive Cell Company (ACC) - example battery cell
Automotive Cell Company (ACC) - example battery cell

Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG said:

“Mercedes-Benz pursues a very ambitious transformation plan and this investment marks a strategic milestone on our path to CO2 neutrality. Together with ACC, we will develop and efficiently produce battery cells and modules in Europe – tailor-made to the specific Mercedes-Benz requirements. This new partnership allows us to secure supply, to take advantage of economies of scale, and to provide our customers with superior battery technology. On top of that, we can help to ensure that Europe remains at the heart of the auto industry – even in an electric era. With Mercedes-Benz as a new partner, ACC aims to more than double capacity at its European sites to support Europe’s industrial competitiveness in the design and manufacturing of battery cells.”

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said:

“We welcome Mercedes-Benz as a strategic partner who shares our ambition to accelerate ACC’s leadership. Stellantis’ electrification strategy is running full-speed ahead, and today’s announcement is the next step in our plan to be the automotive frontrunner, with all 14 brands committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions that meet demands of customers. This consortium leverages our shared technical expertise and manufacturing synergies, and continues to ensure that Stellantis leads the way the world moves in the most efficient, affordable and sustainable way.”

Patrick Pouyanné, TotalEnergies’ Chairman and CEO said:

“We are delighted to welcome Mercedes-Benz as a new partner of ACC. This demonstrates the credibility of our initiative taken a year ago with Stellantis and will clearly support our ambition to create a European battery champion. Together, we are bringing all our skills to contribute to the sustainable development of mobility. This new step is another demonstration of TotalEnergies transformation into a broad energy company and of our willingness to extend our footprint in electric mobility. TotalEnergies will draw on the recognized expertise of its subsidiary Saft in batteries and on the industrial know-how of our partners to meet the strong growth of electric vehicles in Europe”.

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