Automotive Cells Company (ACC), with its shareholders Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, has raised €4.4 billion ($4.7 billion) in debt funding for the construction of three gigafactories in Europe.

Gigafactory ACC de Billy-Berclau 1

ACC’s gigafactory in Billy-Berclau aims to have capacity of 40 GWh by 2030

The funding will be used to develop four blocks of production in addition to the gigafactory currently in operation in Billy-Berclau, France. An additional production block will be added to the facility in Douvrin, with two more production blocks in Italy and a further facility in Germany.

The debt package will contribute to the financing of these facilities and is fully underwritten by a consortium of commercial banks, including BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, ING and Intesa Sanpaolo. It is also supported by Bpifrance, Euler Hermes and Sace.

The three shareholders are working with ACC by participating in a capital increase (issuing new shares to finance investments). By the end of March this year, with the next capital injection, Stellantis will own 45% of ACC’s shares, with Mercedes-Benz owning 30% and Saft 25%.

ACC officially opened the first of its three planned gigafactories in Billy-Berclau in June 2023. The 600,000 sq.m factory has three production blocks with an initial capacity of 13 gigawatt-hours (GWh), rising to 40 GWh by 2030. Shortly after the opening, ACC said it plans to use logistics solutions company PSA BDP’s specialist warehouse in Dunkirk, northern France in its battery supply chain. The warehouse will have specialist services for battery logistics including in-rack sprinklers, temperature and humidity cameras, quarantine containers and water basins for the safe storage of the batteries.

Kaiserslautern in Germany will be home to ACC’s second gigafactory and like Billy-Berclau it will produce lithium-ion battery cells and modules. The 340,000 sq.m site is based near Stellantis’ factory. Production is set to begin in 2025 with an initial capacity of 13.4 GWh and will eventually rise to 40 GWh, enabling production of more than 600,000 EVs per year. 

In Termoli, Italy, ACC will open its third gigafactory, which will also produce 40 GWh and will span 1.2m sq.m. Discussions between ACC and the Italian authorities are still underway, but the factory should employ around 2,000 workers by 2030. The battery company said the location of the Italian gigafactory was suggested by Stellantis, on the brownfield site of the FCA production facility that was established in 1972.

The ACC said the recent funding will accelerate its development and strengthen its position as a key player in the battery industry to equip high-performance, low-carbon electric vehicles.

“The transition to the electrification of vehicles is still on the way. To meet this immense challenge, our customers must be able to rely on robust and reliable European players like ACC, capable of delivering high volumes of competitive batteries with a low CO2 footprint,” said Yann Vincent, CEO, ACC. “With this world-class financial community supporting us, we see clear evidence of the confidence that is placed in the ACC project. Beyond this operation, we will determine our needs as and when we conclude additional contracts. We are resolutely looking to the future, with a view to achieving our objective of growing our production capacities.”