Under EU state aid rules, the European Commission has granted Verkor €659m in funding to support its innovative project to develop lithium EV batteries.
The sizeable investment will enable the French company to pioneer groundbreaking production processes for lithium EV batteries at its planned gigafactory in Dunkirk and technological research at the Verkor Innovation Centre (VIC).
This latest fiscal backing takes Verkor’s total funding to over €2bn, a strategic investment in the European battery value chain that will support the EU’s electrification goals and create thousands of direct and indirect long-term jobs.
Benoit Lemaignan, CEO of Verkor, said: “We are very proud to secure more than €2bn to concretise our ambition. Together, we’ll bring to life a high-performance gigafactory, accelerating a responsible energy transition and transport decarbonisation.
This global financing solidifies our long-term perspectives, and with the renewed commitment of our existing partners, we are now on track to becoming one of the leading European battery manufacturers.”
Accelerating the development of lithium EV batteries
Verkor’s research and development project aims to develop cutting-edge industrial processes for manufacturing lithium EV batteries and modules that will be critical for the large-scale deployment of electrified transportation.
The €659m funding will be critical to expediting this process and will be delivered as a direct grant that covers the project’s R&D until the end of 2026.
Verkor’s R&Dc includes:
Automating electrode production and battery formation through the digitisation of processes;
Enhancing battery recycling techniques;
Recovering materials; and
Designing an innovative pilot production line to enable large-scale battery production.
Verkor will actively share the technical findings from the endeavour with industry and academia.
Commissioner Didier Reynders said: “This €659 million measure enables France to support Verkor’s research and development project on innovative production processes of lithium-ion batteries while keeping distortions of competition limited.
“This is yet another project that will contribute to fostering an innovative battery value chain for electric vehicles in Europe.”
Inside Verkor’s Gigafactory
Central to ramping up production of lithium EV batteries, Verkor’s gigafactory will be located in the strategic Port of Dunkirk.
Once operational, the gigafactory will have a 16 GWh annual production capacity for lithium EV batteries – enough to make 300,000 electric vehicles.
The gigafactory will create 1,200 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs, a significant economic boost to the region and a key instrument in Europe’s energy transition.
Verkor is also developing the VIC Megafactory, a small-scale gigafactory replica capable of 100 to 150 MWh production capacity to test the first generation of lithium EV batteries.
The company is also investing in the next generation of battery experts through the VIC Training Centre, which will educate future experts in world-class facilities.
Source: Innovation News Network