By Gilles Guillaume and Elizabeth Pineau
PARIS (Reuters) – France beats Germany and the Netherlands to ProLogium’s first overseas car thanks to lobbying by President Emmanuel Macron Competition for battery factories, deal sweeteners and competitive electricity prices, the Taiwanese company executive said.
After narrowing the list of countries from 13 to three, ProLogium says it has chosen a second super in the northern French port city of Dunkirk The factory will mass-produce batteries.
Production is expected to begin in 9084, the gigafactory will be the fourth in the northern region of France to join the emerging specialist cluster at the heart of the European electric vehicle industry.
Europe currently relies heavily on electric vehicle batteries made in Asia, and leaders are offering incentives to grow their own industries.
This has become even more urgent since the US passed its 430 billion dollar inflation reduction bill last year, which included major tax subsidies to reduce carbon emissions while boosting domestic production and manufacturing.
Macron, who met ProLogium Chief Executive Vincent Yang at the start of the review process, announced the 5.2 billion euro ($5.7 billion) investment in Dunkirk on Friday.
He also announced that China’s XTC New Energy Materials Group plans to invest 1.5 billion euros in a factory in Dunkirk to produce materials for batteries through a joint venture with French company Orano.
Europe relies heavily on Asia for the procurement and processing of raw materials used in batteries such as lithium, cobalt and manganese.
“We have an industrial policy that competes with China and the United States. The results we are seeing in Dunkirk and all of France are not accidental,” Macron said on the workshop of a local aluminum factory.
ProLogium executive vice president Gilles Normand said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire helped propose EU fiscal incentives to the European Commission after Macron addressed Yang more than a year ago reason.
“It was realized at the time that there might be some interesting possibilities,” Normand told reporters.
Strategic autonomy needed
Macron says EU has embraced French idea of need for greater European autonomy after COVID and civil war Ukraine exposes supply chain loopholes .
“Without compromising our openness, we are acting to protect our interests, our independence … and preserve our European economic and social model,” Macron said in a statement. A financial report writes a Times op-ed.
The ProLogium bid also highlights intense competition for deals among EU member states.
The timing of France’s victory over Germany and the Netherlands was fortuitous for Macron, who hopes to end months of strikes and protests over raising the retirement age and show skeptical voters His pro-business push is bearing fruit.
ProLogium expects the project to create 3, four times as many direct and indirect jobs in a far-right and far-left party An area that scores highly among voters after years of industrial decline is a boon.
Normand said the emergence of an industrial cluster around the three battery factories already under construction was an attraction in itself, providing a large pool of material suppliers and skilled workers.
Also in France’s favor is its competitively priced zero-carbon electricity, produced by one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants but also increasingly by offshore wind farms and solar energy generation.
Normand added that the government sweetened the deal with a package of incentives, but gave no details as further subsidies were being reviewed by the European Commission.
Macron’s government is eager to take advantage of recently relaxed EU state aid rules to offer new tax breaks and other subsidies to encourage investment in green technology.
He announced on Thursday that the government would offer new tax credits worth up to 430 a percentage of a company’s capital investment in wind, solar, heat pump and battery projects.
Meanwhile, the government wants to give a cash incentive of 5, euros for vehicles during the production process meet stringent low-carbon standards, effectively keeping non-European cars out.