June 29, 2023
Grenoble (France) – June 29, 2023 – Verkor, European pioneer in low-carbon batteries for electric vehicles, inaugurates its Verkor Innovation Centre (VIC) in Grenoble. The 15,000 m² main building is located on Grenoble’s Presqu’île. In less than 15 months, Verkor’s teams reconverted this former industrial site, which since 1920 has historically housed the operations of Merlin-Gerin, which later became Schneider-Electric. 100 years later, the site has been given a new lease of life with the Verkor Innovation Centre.
A triple objective: production, innovation and training
The “VIC” is equipped with top of the line R&D equipment and a full-scale, fully automated, digital pilot line capable of producing 150 MWh of battery cells per year, starting with those for Alpine’s future 100% electric C-Crossover GT.
This is also where Verkor will develop and validate its new formulae and products and design the most innovative automatised and digitalised production processes. Particular emphasis will be placed on sustainable development of their batteries: carbon footprint, recycling, traceability and talent development.
Finally, the space will contribute to the company’s training objective, to prepare a new generation of battery industry experts by providing them with the resources and means of advanced research. Through Verkor’s Ecole de la Batterie project, 1,600 people will be trained each year at the VIC.
With operations starting up on the pilot line, Verkor enters a new stage of its project, namely the construction of a first Gigafactory in Dunkirk with a capacity of 16 GWh/year, for which a fund-raising campaign of more than one billion euros is currently underway.
Benoit Lemaignan, Co-founder and CEO of Verkor, comments: “We announced it less than 3 years ago, and we’ve done it: the Verkor Innovation Centre is now up and running. I applaud the performance of our team, supported by our partners. Our collective mission is to produce high-performance, low-carbon batteries on a large scale, accelerating the energy and industrial transition in France and Europe. The VIC is an essential step in this process. We have now reached this milestone and can move ahead confidently with the construction of our first Gigafactory, the financing terms of which will be announced shortly.”
Olivia Grégoire, French Minister for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Trade, Craft Trades and Tourism said: “Attracting talent and providing training are major challenges for our companies, particularly for innovative SMEs that are working to provide concrete solutions to decarbonize our economy. The Ecole de la Battery is an ambitious, concrete response that these actors are developing to allow us to better train our talents.”
Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry: “The inauguration of the Verkor Innovation Centre is in line with all the recent announcements concerning the reindustrialisation of our country. Thanks to Verkor, we will soon have a new Gigafactory for batteries for electric vehicles: the innovative processes developed at the Verkor Innovation Center in Grenoble will be implemented at the Dunkirk gigafactory. The dynamic of this industrial sector is exceptional, Verkor is part of it, and the French government supports these innovations.”
Carole Grandjean, French Minister for Vocational Education and Training: “Verkor and the Ecole de la Batterie are playing an essential role in the development of our industrial training system and a robust battery industry in France. This industry of the future, from design to maintenance, is essential to our industrial sovereignty. The French government is playing its part in this battle for skills, whether by investing in training for the professions of the future with France 2030, or by developing initial and continuing training schemes.