The establishment in France of a fourth factory for electric batteries, crucial to ensure the abandonment of sales of thermal cars in 2035, is under study in Dunkirk, according to the website of the National Commission of Public Debate (CNDP).
President Emmanuel Macron is expected to visit the site on May 11 or 12, according to a government source told AFP. The Taiwanese group ProLogium plans to build two sites “of massive production of solid electric batteries on the big maritime port of Dunkirk” (North), according to the announcement of preliminary consultation published by the CNDP and mediatized Thursday by the magazine Challenges.
The project, estimated at “5.2 billion euros”, aims at a production capacity likely to eventually “equip 500,000 to 750,000 electric vehicles per year”. Solid state batteries are expected to address several limitations of current lithium-ion batteries: more range, more safety, fewer fires, and faster charging time. ProLogium, contacted by AFP, did not wish to comment.
So far, there are three known projects in France for battery plants for electric cars, all of which are planned in the Hauts-de-France region. The ACC battery plant (a joint venture between Stellantis, TotalEnergies and Mercedes-Benz) is due to open in the next few months in Douvrin (Pas-de-Calais), a suburb of Lens. It will be followed by the plant of the Sino-Japanese group AESC-Envision in Douai (Nord), which will produce for Renault from the beginning of 2025, and then by that of the Grenoble-based start-up Verkor, which will produce from mid-2025, also mainly for Renault.
The European Union has set itself the goal of abandoning the combustion engine car by 2035 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Prior public debates are a legal obligation for large projects with an environmental impact and are organized by the CNDP, an independent authority established in 1997.