Hello and welcome to your daily Charge Smart blog! Today, we will be revisiting Total and looking at their partnership with the Peugeot Citroen (PSA) Group.
Above: Could these Total petrol stations soon become a thing of the past?
Previously, we've brought you news about Total who are in the process of setting up over 20,000 EV chargers across Europe. Remember, Total are still an oil company. Surprising isn’t it, considering Total is an oil company but if you look at the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t take you by surprise because Total are still looking to bring you in to their stations so you can buy a pie and coke.Now they've gone one step further to team up with the PSA Group to build a battery factory!
If you haven’t heard of the PSA Group before, then it’s the largest automotive group in France, comprised of Peugeot, Citroen, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall. The automotive giant have entered into a joint venture with Total, called ACC. No, they will not be covering your rugby injuries. In this case, ACC stands for the Automotive Cell Company.
The new joint venture will make use of highly advanced R & D courtesy of Saft which is a battery tech manufacturer owned by Total. The plan is to eventually start producing batteries by 2023. Plans are to offer cutting edge batteries that will have maximum range while reducing charging time along with lowering the carbon footprint of the company overall.
The project is going to take place in phases with the first phase focused on research and development which also includes building a ‘pilot plant’ on a site that’s owned by Saft currently. The joint venture is investing 200 million into the pilot project which will go towards hiring 200 people who will then be highly qualified to work on the high-performance lithium-ion batteries that the joint venture plans to manufacture. Initially, the plant will have a production capacity of 8GWhr which will then be upgraded to 24GWhr at the same factory. Following this upgrade, the ACC also plan to set up a similar factory in Germany with a capacity of 24GWhr, bringing their total production capacity up to 48GWhr by 2030. By that stage, the company is predicted to produce around 1 million batteries per year which is estimated to make up around 10-15% of the European market. The total investment required for the project is estimated to be around 5 billion Euros, that’s roughly around 8.5 billion kiwi dollars!
Above: A Citroen D5 charges away
The group are set to receive around 1.3 billion Euros through public funding from the ‘Important Projects of Common European Interest’ or IPCEI which is signed off by the European Commission.
Total’s Chairman said that the company have been building towards this ever since 2015 when they set a goal to become a major player in the sustainable energy sector, which is when they acquired Saft. The project is set to start with Saft (Total’s company) and the PSA Group entering in a 50:50 agreement but once production starts, Saft’s share will drop down to 33%. Current predictions are that the European market should reach around 400GWhr by 2030 or 15 times the current needs of the market.