• Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

Verkor raises 250 mln euros to fund EV battery megafactory – Reuters.com


Nov 2, 2022


LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – French battery startup Verkor has raised 250 million euros ($248 million) from investors to fund a battery “megafactory” on its way to building a much larger plant to produce batteries for its customer Renault (RENA.PA), the company said on Wednesday.

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

The funding round comes after the company raised 100 million euros from investors in 2021.

Verkor is one of a handful of battery startups trying to raise money and build a homegrown European electric vehicle (EV) battery industry to compete with the Asian giants that dominate global sales.

Chief Executive 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.

Lemaignan said the funding sent an important message to suppliers that Verkor was scaling up and had financial backing, as well as a major carmaker as a customer.

“Financing is an essential piece in the puzzle we are building,” he said. “This shows we have the right people, the right equipment and we have the materials we need to ship quality samples of our product.”

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.

As well as perfecting its battery chemistry, the megafactory will help Verkor master production at scale and train people to eventually run the Dunkirk gigafactory, Lemaignan said.

($1 = 1.0068 euros)

Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by David Clarke

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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