The European automotive market is rapidly electrifying, and the need for batteries to equip vehicles is increasing.
According to the European Commission, demand will increase 12-fold between 2018 and 2030.
This is a revolution for the sector, which is now relying on reindustrialisation and the development of a battery ecosystem sized to ensure the necessary production on the European continent.
This challenge has been taken up by Automotive Cells Company, a company operating in the world of battery technology for electric vehicles, which has selected Segula Technologies, which designs and implements industrial projects, to support it in its plans for three gigafactories dedicated to the production of cells and modules for electric vehicles.
Born in 2020, ACC is the result of an initiative led by Stellantis and TotalEnergies – with its subsidiary Saft – joined by Mercedes-Benz and strongly supported by France, Germany and the European Union. The company is growing at a very fast pace.
A solid experience for a new project
For the past two years, the global engineering group Segula has been involved in setting up ACC’s R&D centre and their pilot site in the French cities of Bruges and Nersac, through a collaboration that mobilises some fifty engineers.
It is now supporting the capacity deployment of European gigafactories, starting with the one located in Billy-Berclau in northern France. Segula’s engineering services are closely involved in this XXL project, the first assembly line of which will begin production at the end of 2023.
Segula’s scope of intervention concerns the entire factory of the future, with support for the industrialisation of the entire cell and module production process.
Franck Vigot, president of Segula Technologies’ worldwide automotive department, says: “This is a very complex project, which embodies the industry of the future, and in which we are proud to participate.
“Our experience in industrial launches, acquired in the service of iconic players in all sectors throughout the world, is a major asset for this project. Our collaboration with ACC, which we have been supporting for two years, now positions us as a Gigafactory launch player.
“We look forward to sharing it in the coming years with all the engineers and experts who will be working on this extraordinary plant, which is a first in France.”
Yann Vincent, CEO of ACC, says: “Segula Technologies no longer has much to prove in terms of its ability to successfully support manufacturers in their development and we are pleased to be able to count on the contribution of this international group for the launch of our plants.
“Having them by our side allows us to increase our strike force to further accelerate the commissioning of our gigafactories, time being a key element of our competitiveness. The expertise of Segula’s staff, the tools they make available to us, and their responsiveness are essential assets that we are already putting to good use.
“We share the same ambition for the project, and the same desire to apply the best standards of operational excellence, and I have no doubt that together we will be able to put together an outstanding industrial project.”
A first in the French industrial landscape, and a field of opportunities
The Billy-Berclau gigafactory is the first industrial step in ACC’s roadmap, which, with the completion of its three European sites, aims to have an installed capacity of 120 GWh by 2030. This first project has unprecedented dimensions. For example, the first building will house an assembly line 650 m long, 100 m wide and 13 m high with a production capacity of 13 GWh.
The ACC gigafactory in Billy-Berclau is a first in the French industrial landscape, and an unprecedented field of opportunities for qualified profiles looking for innovation and challenges.
Franck Vigot says: “We will be recruiting more than 300 people over the next two years and are obviously looking for experts in engineering, high voltage electricity, automation, and so on.
“We can count on our international pool of talent. This exceptional project is sure to attract engineers looking for challenges, mobility and multicultural experience, and we will support them with bespoke training. Contributing to a project of this magnitude is an opportunity that doesn’t come along every day.”