Mercedes-Benz has joined competitor Stellantis and battery maker Saft to boost production of lithium ion cells in Europe.
Mercedes is taking a 33 percent stake in French battery startup ACC (the Automotive Cells Company) to boost production capacity to 120 GWh in Europe by 2030. Mercedes will be investing around €500m next year as part of the project, expected to need €7bn in equity, debt and subsidies.
This comes as Korean spinout SK Battery plans capacity of 500GWh by the same date.
Mercedes-Benz plans to go fully electric by the end of the decade but will need battery production capacity of more than 200 GWh by 2030. It already has supply deals with SK battery, CATL and Farasis, and is developing its own battery technology in Stuttgart.
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Mercedes uses a modular, highly standardised battery kit that allows the integration of battery cells and modules from different development partners through uniformly designed components and interfaces. The aim of the partnership is the joint development of cells and battery modules based on battery technology from French supplier Saft, a subsidiary of petrochemical company TotalEnergies.
The partners are also exploring the use of silicon anodes and solid-state batteries. ACC will primarily use electricity from renewable energies for the production of the high-performance battery technologies, and only use raw materials extracted from certified mines will be used. ACC battery cells will also be over 95% recyclable to kickstart a closed loop raw material cycle. This is a key element in accessing funding from the European Commission as part of the Green Deal.
ACC, only formed last year, will supply Mercedes-Benz with high-performance battery technologies from its production locations from the middle of the decade. Its R&D centre in Bordeaux, France is operational and the pilot site in Nersac, France, will start production at the end of this year. The company is also looking at expanding its production network to include further locations in Europe.