Plastic Omnium invests in Verkor

The French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium is accelerating its strategy for electromobility with two investments: Plastic Omnium wants to take over Actia Power, as well as investing 20 million euros in the French battery manufacturer Verkor.

The investment and industrial partnership with Verkor will enable Plastic Omnium to develop and manufacture battery modules, according to the company. Verkor was founded in 2019 and has become a key battery partner for Renault’s upcoming high-performance electric vehicles. Construction of its own battery factory in Dunkirk is due to begin in 2023, with a capacity of 16 GWh planned for the start of production in 2025. By 2030, the plant is to be expanded to 50 GWh.

Plastic Omnium will receive preferential access to an initial volume of at least 4 GWh of battery cells per year from Verkor’s production facility in Dunkerque from 2025. This also fits in with the plans of Verkor’s main partner Renault: according to the announcement from the summer, the carmaker wants to purchase ten GWh from Verkor from 2026, then 20 GWh from 2030.

Plastic Omnium wants to use Verkor cells in batteries for electric “individual vehicles” as well as commercial vehicles – and also in stationary energy storage. This could include a whole range of possible segments (and customers) from electric two-wheelers to cars, buses and trucks.

“This industrial collaboration places Verkor at the centre of the electric mobility market and allows us to develop in the utility vehicle and stationary storage markets,” says Verkor CEO Benoît Lemaignan.

The supplier also wants to take over Actia Power, which specialises in power electronics and electrification systems, among other things. Plastic Omnium hopes this will give it access to a new technological platform and R&D capacities in the areas of electronic component design and storage and management systems for electrical energy.

However, the takeover has not yet been finalised. Plastic Omnium says it is in “exclusive negotiations” with Actia on the sale of the Actia Power division. Actia Power currently employs more than 200 people in France, Germany, the UK and the US.

With the two investments, the supplier aims to be able to serve all types of electrified vehicles in the future – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric cars and also fuel cell vehicles. Together with ElringKlinger, Plastic Omnium already operates the fuel cell joint venture EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies. (PDF), (PDF download)


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