The Automotive Cells Company (ACC) battery joint venture, originally established by Stellantis (PSA at the time) and TotalEnergies/Saft in Summer 2020, confirmed that Mercedes-Benz joined the endeavor as a new, equal partner, which was first announced in September 2021.

Mercedes-Benz is expected to provide technology and production know-how to ACC, as the company has a lot of experience with battery systems.

The trio intends to build, in Europe, a lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing capacity of at least 120 GWh/year by 2030.

This week ACC announced that the production capacity of the French and German plants (under construction) will be increased to 40 GWh each (up from 24 GWh previously). That's a total of 80 GWh annually in a few years.

On top of that will come the third battery plant in Termoli, Italy, where ACC will transform Stellantis’ existing Termoli plant into a battery factory. This site also might have about 40 GWh of manufacturing capacity, but it was not said yet, as the project is at a non-binding stage.

"A Memorandum of Understanding between ACC and the Italian authorities was signed on March 21 to formalize the willingness of shareholders to invest in Italy, and of Italian authorities to support that investment."

According to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares (via Automotive News), the investment in Italy might be similar to the projects in France and Germany, where the cost is estimated at around €2 billion ($2.2 billion) per site. In total, ACC is expected to spend some €7 billion ($7.7 billion).

Italy is expected to support the investment substantially:

"Rome pledged last month to provide 369 million euros ($407 million) of public money for Termoli"

Stellantis' global EV plan includes a gradual increase of battery electric vehicle sales to 5 million annually by 2030 (100% passenger car sales in Europe, and 50% passenger cars and light-duty trucks in the US).

The plan will require approximately 400 GWh of batteries according to the company (on average, 80 kWh per vehicle), which is 140 GWh more than previously anticipated 260 GWh, at the Stellantis EV Day 2021.

For reference, Mercedes-Benz estimates that its electrification plan will require more than 200 GWh of batteries annually by 2030.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Research & Development and Procurement said:

“Our stake in ACC marks another important step on the way towards an all-electric product portfolio by the end of the decade. To reach this target, we need a total battery production capacity of more than 200 Gigawatt hours by 2030. This is why we are continuously expanding our own R&D and production activities, and teaming up with partners to speed up progress”

Automotive Cells Company (ACC) battery plants in Europe (plan):

  • France: R&D center in Bordeaux and a pilot site in Nersac (already operational)
  • France: Billy-Berclau/Douvrin, production start in 2023 (40 GWh/year)
  • Germany: Kaiserslautern, production start in 2025 (40 GWh/year)
  • Italy: Termoli
  • Total: at least 120 GWh/year by 2030
  • ACC shareholders: Stellantis, TotalEnergies/Saft, Mercedes-Benz

It's worth noting that Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis also invested in Factorial Energy, a solid-state battery start-up, both participating in Series D round. Time will tell whether the two companies are together looking for next-generation battery technology or if it's just a single case.

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