Ampere to build battery cell laboratory in France

Renault's electric car division Ampere has begun construction of a battery cell laboratory at the Renault Group Technical Centre in Lardy (Département Essonne), France. The technology centre specialising in batteries is scheduled to open in the second half of 2025.

Image: Renault

It will be used to develop prototypes and evaluate battery cells and is intended to help “anticipate technological advances”, as Ampere wrote in the press release. Similar to the battery cell research centres of Mercedes-Benz or BMW in Germany, the Renault division is not interested in preparing its own cell production. Instead, it wants to understand the trends and developments and develop the next generation of cells itself. However, partners such as AESC and Verkor will continue to take over the complex production.

The laboratory in Labry will be “strategic to define the best compromise between performance, cost, durability and safety of our future batteries and anticipate technological advances in the field of cells”, Ampere continued. In addition, the Renault division’s expertise in “evaluating the processes of cell suppliers” should be strengthened. In other words, the aim is to be able to talk to the cell experts on an equal footing.

More than 120 devices for cell development and analysis are to be installed on two levels in the 3,000-square-metre building. This includes machines for the production of prototype cells in a 600-square-metre clean room. The facilities in Labry will also be used for electrophysical-chemical characterisation, in which the chemical behaviour of the cell will be investigated in order to determine the durability and the effects of frequent fast charging more precisely.

“The Innovation Battery Cell Laboratory will be a major asset for Ampere,” says Philippe Brunet, Senior Vice President for Powertrain & EV Engineering at Ampere. “It will contribute to the control of the electric vehicle value chain at a time when expertise in terms of battery technologies is a real factor of competitiveness.”

Ampere was officially spun off from Renault at the beginning of November 2023 and operates as an independent unit with its own structures regarding personnel, development, organisation and more. However, the Renault Group currently holds 100 per cent of the shares in the new unit. As the IPO of Ampere planned for the first half of 2024 has been cancelled for the time being, Renault will remain the sole owner. However, the French company had already made it clear that it would not be cutting back on Ampere’s investment plans, even if the originally planned income from the IPO is now missing.

The upcoming models Scenic E-Tech Electric, Renault 5, Renault 4, Twingo and two other vehicles will be sold under the Renault brand, but responsibility for these electric models lies with Ampere.


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