Total signs JV agreement to scale electric car battery unit

Total

Total’s electric car battery-making subsidiary, Saft, said it has signed an agreement with Tianneng Energy Technology to create a joint venture (JV) to expand their lithium-ion activity.

TET is a subsidiary of the Chinese privately-owned Tianneng Group,

Total said the manufacturing will be based at the Changxing Gigafactory, with a potential capacity of 5.5 gigawatt hours (GWh), among which several GWh are already in operation. Saft will have a 40% shareholding in the new JV, while the Tianneng Group will hold the remaining shares.

The JV will primarily focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of advanced Li-ion cells, modules and packs for China and worldwide markets. E-bikes and Electric Vehicles (EV), as well as Energy Storage Solutions (ESS) will be the target markets.

The partners also plan to expand the Changxing facility to ramp up its production capacity to meet future growing demand, mainly driven by e-mobility sales and the development of renewables.

“This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following the acquisition of Saft in 2016, to grow Saft’s activity in China, the world’s largest renewables market, as well as in the ESS segment as an essential component to the large scale development of intermittent renewable energies,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total. “The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world leading lead acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities. It will also give Saft access to China’s booming battery market as well as highly-competitive mass production capacity to accelerate its growth.”

“This partnership enables us to benefit from Saft’s 30 years of experience and strong technical leadership in Li-ion cells,” said Tianneng Chairman Mr. Tianren Zhang. “Saft’s outstanding reputation for high quality products will be crucial in providing the JV with the market credibility vital to expand our business.”

“We are delighted to start building a long-term partnership with Tianneng with a shared industrial vision,” said Ghislain Lescuyer, Saft CEO. “This JV will allow us to make a step change and significantly increase our footprint in the Chinese Li-ion market that will represent over 40% of the global demand by 2025 and to develop our worldwide activities.”