There is a worldwide race for car manufacturers to be at the forefront of the competitive market of environmentally clean vehicles. This technology shift has lead to the need to build battery cell plants across Europe. China’s Envision Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) has announced plans to build an electric car battery plant in Douai in northern France.

This will create at least 1,000 new jobs, which are needed as the car industry is currently undergoing many changes either through Covid 19 affecting sales to the loss of many traditional jobs in the automotive industry.

The politician Xavier Bertrand, who runs for re-election as head of France’s Hauts-de-France region, announces Envision’s investment in the French factory. He also indicated that the 1,000 jobs that will be created initially could reach 2,500 in the longer term.

Reuters reported that Renault had selected Envision to make batteries for its electric vehicles, such as the Renault 5 model. One source states that the proposed plant in France will bring around two billion euros from Envision.

The Douai battery factory will add to Renault’s electric car manufacturing hub, known as “Renault ElectriCity”. It comprises three plants in northern France, based in Douai, Ruitz and Maubeuge. It is expected by the year 2025 that the hub will produce up to 400,000 vehicles a year.

The Automotive Cells Company who produce batteries for Renaults rivals Stellantis and Saft, who is a unit of TotalEnergies, also have plans for a battery production plant in northern France.

Due to the shift away from diesel engine production, the auto industry is currently facing job cuts. Renault announced last year plans to cut 4,600 jobs in France as it restructures its business.

This comes 10 years after Peugeot maker PSA, now part of Stellantis, went through a drastic restructuring causing many job cuts. This has lead to politicians pressurising the automobile companies to retrain employees and to encourage new job avenues.

With demand for cleaner vehicles, such as electric cars, on the increase, Germany’s Volkswagen has also indicated that it will be building six battery cell plants of its own in Europe in the future.

Source: Reuters