Verkor raises $248 mn to set up battery factory targeting Renault

Renault electric vehicle

French battery startup Verkor has raised 250 million euros ($248 million) from investors to fund a battery megafactory to produce batteries for its customer Renault.

French carmaker Renault in October said it plans to build a network of charging stations for electric cars along motorways across Europe. It will open the first charging station in a few months in southern France, with 200 more planned to follow by mid-2024 in France, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo recently said it will control 80 percent of its electric vehicle value chain well ahead of its 2030 target as it develops partnerships in batteries, electric motors and power electronics.

Verkor, which is based in Grenoble, said investors in the funding round included French bank Societe Generale, German industrial company Siemens and the European Investment Bank, which put in 49 million euros.

Verkor raised 100 million euros from investors in 2021.

Verkor CEO Benoit Lemaignan said the megafactory was a crucial step in the startup’s development and will help it raise a further 1.6 billion euros for a 16 gigawatt-hour (GWh) factory in Dunkirk that should start production in 2025 and will supply high-performance batteries for Renault EVs.

Verkor said that so far the company has been making several batteries a day in its lab in Grenoble.

Starting early next year the megafactory – a factory producing under 1 GWh of batteries – will produce thousands of cells per day for Renault to test and use in its EVs.

The megafactory will help Verkor master production at scale and train people to eventually run the Dunkirk gigafactory, Lemaignan said.