PARIS -- Renault Group has reached an agreement with the French startup Verkor to supply batteries for its high-end vehicles, starting with the coming Alpine compact crossover, which is due to start production by 2026.
Verkor will supply 12 gigawatt-hours of batteries per year, the companies said Thursday. The cells will be built in a factory that will be built in Dunkirk, northwest France, not far from the Alpine factory in Dieppe.
Renault Group said in 2021 that it would take an equity stake of “over 20 percent” in Verkor. Other investors in the company include Schneider Electric and the consulting group Capgemini.
Verkor said in 2021 that it would start construction of its own factory in 2023, with an initial annual capacity of 15 gWh, of which 10 gWh would be reserved for Renault. Future capacity could be as high as 50 gWh by 2030, with 20 gWh going to Renault.
The factory is set to start production in 2025, Verkor and Renault said this week.
The partnership is part of Renault's efforts to secure crucial components and seize control of the value chain of its future unit Ampere, dedicated to electric vehicles and software which Renault plans to introduce to the stock market by the end of the year.
Renault Group’s other battery suppliers include South Korea’s LG Chem, and it is building a factory with Envision AESC in Douai, northern France, to supply mainstream models such as the future Renault 5 small EV.
Batteries built by Verkor would be aimed at high-performance and “upper segment” models from Renault brand and Alpine, which Renault is developing into a full-fledged, EV-focused brand.
Reuters contributed to this report