The funding has been co-led by EQT Ventures and Renault Group, with participation from the French Government and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region. The VIC is where the advanced battery cells and modules will be designed to support Europe’s net-zero goals. Also participating in the round were EIT InnoEnergy, Groupe IDEC, Schneider Electric, Capgemini, Arkema, Tokai COBEX and the Fund for Ecologic Modernisation of Transport (FMET) managed by Demeter.
The aim is to build a competitive, sustainable, and local battery cell value chain in Europe. Verkor will deliver on this with a battery cell manufacturing capacity of 16 GWh in 2024, scaling to +50 GWh by 2030. The VIC, which will be located in Grenoble and operational in 2022, is a major milestone in achieving this vision. It will accommodate a pilot line for battery cell manufacturing, a R&D centre, testing facilities, module prototyping, and provide training for a new generation of engineers and technicians.
“We are honoured to have shareholders of such a high quality on board with us” said Verkor’s CEO Benoit Lemaignan at a signing ceremony in Paris yesterday (6th July). “I want to thank our team for what we have achieved together in less than a year of existence. Our new shareholding structure totally reflects our ambition: an end-to-end approach to battery manufacturing, each of us focusing on what we do best, while cross-fertilising our expertise.”
Verkor will now benefit from the industrial expertise of new shareholders Arkema, a leader in high-performance specialty materials, and Tokai COBEX, a speciality manufacturer of low-carbon, ultra-efficient battery anode materials. Demeter, a major energy transition private equity fund also steps in with its Fund for Ecological Modernisation of transport (FMET), while the French Government, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and Bpifrance will provide financial support for the R&D programme.
The news follows the signing of a partnership between Verkor and Renault Group just last week under which Verkor will supply an initial capacity of at least 10 GWh per year for the C and higher segments of the Renault range, as well as for the Alpine models.
With EIT InnoEnergy’s trusted European ecosystem, Groupe IDEC’s property development savoir-faire, Schneider Electric’s industrial manufacturing expertise and Capgemini’s applied science in intelligent industry, the foundations of the Verkor Innovation Centre and the future Gigafactory are now firmly in place.
Barber Hauler Capital Advisers, Santander Corporate & Investment Banking acted as financial advisors to the company, and De Gaulle and Fleurance & Associés as legal advisors.
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