French industrial company Verkor has selected the port city of Dunkirk (Hauts de France) for the construction of its first Gigafactory for the development of low-carbon battery cells designed to support Europe’s net-zero goals. First delivery of low-carbon high performance batteries for electric vehicles is scheduled for July 2025; manufacturing capacity will expand from 16 GWh in 2025 to 50 GWh by 2030.
Verkor will produce two types of battery cells in its Gigafactory: large pouch cells and smaller cylindrical cells (size form 2170 and up).
The cells will then be assembled into modules for delivery to clients. Verkor has chosen to focus on high‑volume battery-cell manufacturing for the electric vehicle and large‑scale stationary storage markets.
The announcement marks a significant milestone for Verkor, founded in 2020, realizing the company’s vision and accelerating its goals for battery development. Dunkirk is the most promising site out of the 40 investigated by Verkor in France, Spain and Italy. Spanning more than 150 hectares, the site will meet growing demand from European and international car manufacturers, as the roll-out of high-performance electric vehicles continues to gather pace across the continent.
The site meets all the requirements for a Gigafactory in terms of land, logistics, energy capacity, proximity to customers, access to a qualified workforce, and scalability. Up to 1,200 direct jobs and more than 3,000 indirect jobs are expected to be generated during the first phase of the project.
The Verkor Gigafactory in Dunkirk will create a new ecosystem of players and solutions to support the development of Europe’s battery value chain. Once operational, the Gigafactory will supply several customers, and most notably Renault Group after signing a strategic partnership with Verkor last summer.
Verkor and the French National Commission for Public Debate are moving forward with the national consultation process for the site.
Mastering the entire battery value chain is critical to the transition to electric mobility. I welcome this new important step by Verkor. Their choice of location reinforces “the electric battery valley” that is taking shape in the Hauts de France, as well as its dynamic ecosystem. It sends a positive signal to Dunkirk’s industrial platform, which has key assets in the sector. Verkor, like many players in the value chain, can rely on the Government’s ongoing support under the France 2030 plan.
The construction of the Gigafactory is scheduled to begin in 2023. Research and development will continue to be based out of Grenoble where the construction of the Verkor Innovation Center (VIC) is already under way.
The innovations developed there will be a prelude to the manufacturing excellence of Verkor’s first Gigafactory.
Verkor was founded in July 2020, with the backing of EIT InnoEnergy, Groupe IDEC, Schneider Electric, Capgemini, Renault Group, EQT Ventures, Arkema, Tokai COBEX and FMET managed by Demeter.