Mercedes-Benz joins Stellantis and TotalEnergies in ACC initiative
24 September 2021
Mercedes-Benz has become a partner of the Automotive Cells Company (ACC), together with TotalEnergies and Stellantis.
The French carmaking group and energy firm set up ACC as part of an initiative taken in 2020. It is supported by French, German and European authorities to create a battery champion for electrically-chargeable vehicles (EVs). The addition of Mercedes-Benz highlights the merits of the project, according to Stellantis.
With the new partner, ACC is now committing to an industrial battery capacity of at least 120GWh by 2030. Its objective is to develop and produce battery cells and modules for EVs, focusing on safety, performance, and competitiveness, while ensuring the highest level of quality and the lowest carbon footprint.
The updated ACC capacity plan will mobilise an investment of more than €7 billion, which will be supported by subsidies and financed by equity and debt. The three companies will each hold an equal stake in ACC, with Mercedes-Benz now looking to accelerate the company’s development with sustainable, cutting-edge technology. The German carmaker will invest a ‘mid-three-digit million euro’ amount in the venture next year, while total investments are expected to remain below €1 billion.
The partners hope the creation of this European battery champion will support the region in addressing ‘the challenges of the energy transition in mobility, ensure its security of supply of a key component for the electric car industry.’
Carmakers across Europe are looking to establish battery-manufacturing centres as they grow their battery-electric vehicle (BEV) ranges. Setting up facilities close to existing vehicle plants will shorten the supply chain and help improve the carbon footprints of BEVs through a lower logistics route.
Some carmakers are going alone, developing their own gigafactories. Others are partnering with gigafactory providers. The tie-up between Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and TotalEnergies sees a mix of partners, with technological expertise in long-life batteries and battery systems, a global mobility player, and a large amount of expertise in research and development of new technologies.
Need for supply
ACC will supply Mercedes-Benz with high-performance battery technologies from its production locations from the middle of the decade. The battery-cell manufacturer is examining the expansion of its production network to include additional locations in Europe.
‘To have Mercedes-Benz join us as a new shareholder is a major milestone for ACC,’ said Yann Vincent, CEO of 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.’
Mercedes-Benz is planning to go fully electric by the end of the decade, wherever market conditions allow. To reach its target, the company needs a total battery-production capacity of more than 200GWh and plans to build eight cell factories worldwide together with partners, four of them in Europe.
‘This new partnership allows us to secure supply, to take advantage of economies of scale, and to provide our customers with superior battery technology,’ added Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. ‘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.’