Reminiscent of the DaimlerChrysler days, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis joined forces last week, this time in the area of battery development and production for electric vehicles.
Mercedes is the latest shareholder in the battery technology company Automotive Cells Company (ACC), which was formed in 2020 by the former PSA Group (now part of Stellantis) and French oil giant TotalEnergies.
Under the new arrangement, Mercedes, Stellantis and TotalEnergies each hold a third of the equity in France-based ACC. Specific financial terms of the deal weren't announced but Mercedes said it will invest a figure of less than 1 billion (approximately $1.17 billion), as well as provide technological and production know-how.
ACC is open to more companies getting involved.
ACC currently has an R&D center in Bordeaux, France, as well as a pilot plant in nearby Nersac that's scheduled to come online by the end of the year. ACC plans to establish several battery plants in Europe, with a goal of having a production capacity of 120 gigawatt-hours by the end of the decade—at an estimated investment bill of 7 billion euros.
To put that figure into perspective, Mercedes said it alone will need more than 200 gwh of battery production capacity by the end of the decade to reach its goal of switching to a full-electric lineup by that date. To meet the expected demand, Mercedes is planning a total eight battery plants, including by itself and with partners.
Stellantis also plans to make a switch to mostly EVs this decade. In July, it unveiled four modular EV platforms that will span models across its 14-brand portfolio.
ACC won't be the only major battery player in Europe. Volkswagen Group is establishing its own battery plants there, including some in a joint venture with Swedish battery company Northvolt. Tesla also plans to produce batteries at its new vehicle plant under construction outside of Berlin, Germany.