Mercedes-Benz looks to meet its goal of “Electric only” by acquiring a stake in Automotive Cells Company, or ACC, a European-based battery venture organized by Stellantis.
As part of its effort to electrify it product line during the next decade, Mercedes is taking an equity stake in the fledgling battery cell manufacturer. It joins Stellantis and TotalEnergies in holding a third of the company, aiming to scale up development and production of high-performance battery cells and modules.
ACC was founded 2020 by combining what was then the PSA Group waiting for approval of the FCA merger, which led to the creation of Stellantis, as well as TotalEnergies, with Mercedes in a subordinate role.
Under pressure from the European Union, which is eager to reduce its dependence on battery cells from East Asia ACC’s goal is to become the European market leader for car battery cells and modules that allow clean and efficient mobility. The venture research and development center in Bordeaux, France is already and the pilot site in Nersac will launch production at the end of this year.
ACC plans to supply Mercedes with high-performance battery technologies from its production locations from mid of the decade as ACC moves to expand its production network to include further locations in Europe.
Mercedes CEO hails pact
Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, noted Mercedes is pursuing a very ambitious transformation plan and this investment marks a strategic milestone on our path to carbon dioxide neutrality.
“This new partnership allows us to secure supply, to take advantage of economies of scale, and to provide our customers with superior battery technology,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
Källenius noted Mercedes announced in July it will be ready to go fully electric by the end of the decade — wherever market conditions allow. To reach its target, the company needs a total battery production capacity of more than 200 Gigawatt hours by the end of the decade and plans to build eight cell factories worldwide together with partners, four of them in Europe.
This partnership now gives them 120 Gigawatt hours in Europe.
Mercedes to have seats on venture board
Following the $1.2 billion investment in ACC, Mercedes holds two out of six seats on ACC’s Supervisory Board alongside TotalEnergies and Stellantis as equal shareholders, according to 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.
“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,” he added.
With investment of $1.2 billion, Mercedes keeps driving toward carbon neutrality, as laid out in its Ambition 2039 plans.