Mercedes-Benz to become equal shareholder in Automotive Cells Company (ACC) with Stellantis and TotalEnergies
Mercedes-Benz is taking an equity stake in European battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company (ACC) to scale up development and production of next-generation high-performance battery cells and modules.
Mercedes-Benz announced in July that it will be ready to go fully electric by the end of the decade wherever market conditions allow. To reach that target, the company needs a total battery production capacity of more than 200 GWh by the end of the decade and therefore plans to build eight cell factories worldwide together with partners, four of them in Europe. Joining ACC is the next step on the luxury car maker’s strategic course from “Electric first” to “Electric only”.
Together with ACC, we will develop and efficiently produce battery cells and modules in Europe – tailor-made to the specific Mercedes-Benz requirements. This new partnership allows us to secure supply, to take advantage of economies of scale, and to provide our customers with superior battery technology. On top of that we can help to ensure that Europe remains at the heart of the auto industry even in an electric era. With Mercedes-Benz as a new partner, ACC aims to more than double capacity at its European sites to support Europe’s industrial competitiveness in the design and manufacturing of battery cells.Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG—
The entire ACC project will require an investment volume of more than €7 billion (US$8.2 billion) in a combination of equity, debt and subsidies to reach a capacity of at least 120 Gigawatt hours in Europe by the end of the decade.
Mercedes-Benz will invest a mid-three-digit-million euros amount next year. In total, the investments are expected to remain below one billion Euros. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including agreement on definitive documentation and regulatory approvals.
Mercedes-Benz will take a strategic 33 percent equity stake in ACC. Following the investment, we will hold two out of six seats on ACC’s Supervisory Board alongside TotalEnergies and Stellantis as equal shareholders. Our goal is to continue to integrate the most advanced and sustainable battery cells in our EQ models. Therefore, we will provide our technological and production know-how to ACC. Mercedes-Benz will further complement high end cell development with its newly planned pilot plant Drive Systems Campus in Stuttgart from 2023 onwards.—Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO
ACC will supply Mercedes-Benz with high-performance battery technologies from its production locations from the middle of the decade. The battery cell manufacturer is examining the expansion of its production network to include further locations in Europe.
Mercedes-Benz is pursuing widespread research and development activities in the field of battery technology. The company will contribute this expertise and support the expansion of ACC’s production network based on the brand’s benchmark quality standards. With Saft, an affiliate of TotalEnergies, Mercedes-Benz has a partner with over 100 years of experience in the field of long-life batteries and battery systems for applications critical to safety, back-up power and electric and hybrid drives. Stellantis brings industrialization expertise to the joint venture through its brand diversity, size and global footprint. Together with its partners, Mercedes-Benz customers can benefit from the joint venture’s unique combination of technological know-how, production experience and scale.
With the investment, Mercedes-Benz is driving forward the industrialization of advanced and sustainable cell technologies in Europe. Mercedes-Benz is expanding its established partner portfolio in order to safeguard the degree of localization in the procurement of battery cells and modules as a key technology for the age of electric mobility.
Mercedes-Benz relies on a modular, highly standardized battery kit that allows the integration of battery cells and modules from different development partners through uniformly designed components and interfaces. The aim of the partnership is the joint development of cells and battery modules that meet the high energy density, charging power and performance requirements of Mercedes-Benz.
The joint expertise of the partners in cell technology and cell production means that distinctive variations in the modular system can be optimally realized with respect to cell chemistry and cell height. The partners are also exploring further leaps in battery technology, for example with regard to high silicon anode and solid-state batteries.
With Ambition 2039, Mercedes-Benz is pursuing the goal of CO2 neutrality along the entire value chain. The CO2-neutral production of battery cells is an important component, and a specific requirement for all partners. ACC will therefore primarily use electricity from renewable energies for the production of high-performance battery technologies.
Other important sustainability aspects are the responsible sourcing of raw materials and the intelligent use of resources. For the battery cells, only battery raw materials which were extracted from certified mines will be used. In addition, the partners are reducing critical materials with the use of new technologies. For a closed raw material cycle, ACC battery cells will be more than 95% recyclable. The battery cell manufacturer is an important partner for the European Union to implement the sustainability requirements for a green battery in Europe as part of the Green Deal.
ACC was founded in 2020 with the goal of becoming the European market leader for car battery cells and modules. The R&D center in Bordeaux (France) is operational and the pilot site in Nersac (France) will start production at the end of this year.