Mercedes-Benz has joined Stellantis and TotalEnergies in partnership to bolster their joint-venture, the Automotive Cells Company (ACC). Their ambition is to create a European battery champion, targeting a capacity of 120GWh by 2030 – double its original goal.
This project will tap into Mercedes-Benz’s technology and production expertise, Saft’s (TotalEnergies’ subsidiary) wealth of experience in developing long-life batteries and battery systems, as well as Stellantis’s cutting-edge, affordable, safe and sustainable mobility solutions. It is set to mobilise seven billion euros (over six billion pounds) of investment.
With the support of German, French and European authorities, ACC is looking to capitalise on economies of scale. This will ensure a secure supply of what Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, calls “superior battery technology” for Europe. No announcement has been made yet as to where the large-scale production of this technology will take place.
Mercedes-Benz, like its consortium partners, has previously announced its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2039 “from technical development to the extraction of raw materials, to production, service life and recycling”. Its one third equity in ACC shows commitment to these goals, a move that aims to accelerate electrification.
Following the announcement on 24 September, ACC CEO, Yann Vincent, said: “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.”
Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavare, called the announcement “the next step in our plan to be the automotive frontrunner”, also stating: “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.” This is a sentiment that is echoed by TotalEnergies’ Chairman and CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, who said: “Together, we are bringing all our skills to contribute to the sustainable development of mobility.”
ACC’s ambitions for constructing a “gigafactory” are not without competition. One rival, start-up Northvolt, is hoping to produce a quarter of Europe’s batteries from its huge factory located just outside of Stockholm.