Renault ties the knot for Verkor battery cells
Renault and French battery start-up Verkor have entered into a “commercial partnership” that includes binding supply volumes for battery cells. The carmaker will receive 12 GWh of battery cells from Verkor for its premium electric cars, including the Alpine brand.
The beginnings of this deal go back to an initial agreement in 2021 in which Verkor would supply high-performance cells for the Renault Group’s higher-end electric cars. The battery cells for the volume models would be sourced from Envision AESC, among others. This latest agreement with Verkor comes with few details other than accounting for the 12 GWh per year – neither on the duration of the “long-term trading partnership” nor on the financial scope of the deal has been revealed.
Renault is Verkor’s biggest client for the “gigafactory” at Dunkirk. The targeted capacity of 12-gigawatt hours (GWh) is enough to power more than 100,000 Renault vehicles. The overall production target for the gigafactory is 16 GWh.
The partnership with Renault was one of the reasons why Verkor re-planned the location of its battery factory to Dunkirk. From here, Verkor cells will first be transported some 200 kilometres along on the Channel coast to the Alpine brand vehicle plant Dieppe.
In the Apline plant in Dieppe the first electric car with Verkor cells is to roll off the production line from 2025 onwards. This is to be an Alpine crossover in the C segment. The two companies now refer to the model as the Alpine GT; earlier, there was talk of the “GT X-Over”.
Verkor stresses that since June 2021, they have worked with Renault to prove the technical quality of the cells, their economic competitiveness and the commercial production process. “The trust that Renault Group has shown in us since the beginning is now materialised in this long-term commercial partnership.” says Benoit Lemaignan, co-founder and CEO of Verkor. “This is further evidence of the attractiveness and credibility of our project as we raise the necessary funds to build our Gigafactory in Dunkirk. Manufacturing batteries in Europe and controlling the value chain are fundamental to the energy transition.”
This supply agreement is part of Renault’s efforts to secure all parts of the value chain for its upcoming Ampere unit, which will focus on electric vehicles and software. According to earlier statements by Renault CEO Luca de Meo, Ampere is to become “a fully-fledged OEM with around 10,000 employees”. Ampere will offer six electric models by 2030: The Renault 5 Electric and Renault 4 Electric, the Megane E-Tech Electric, the Scénic Electric, and two other models yet to be revealed.
“This commercial partnership allows us to secure a long-term supply of electric batteries and to ensure a reinforced traceability of the elements which compose them,” says François Provost, Renault Group Chief Purchasing, Partnerships, and Public Affairs Officer. “It is in line with the ambition of the Group and its future entity Ampere dedicated to electric vehicles and software, to control the entire electric value chain. Renault Group is thus continuing to develop in France, at the heart of Europe, a robust electrical ecosystem of technology centres, vehicle, engine, and battery factories.”