The CRITT M2A signs a contract with ACC to carry out battery production quality tests for France’s first Gigafactory

Automotive Cells Company (ACC), a major player in the manufacture of battery cells and modules for electric vehicles, has selected The CRITT M2A – a world leader in R&D and electrical testing – for the production tests of its gigafactory in Billy-Berclau Douvrin (Hauts-deFrance). It is the first one in France, which is scheduled to be put into service at the end of 2023. This 7-year contract is part of the development strategy of CRITT M2A, the reference test centre for electromobility.

By completing its field of action, the centre becomes one of the only players in France to cover the entire spectrum of the market, from R&D to production testing to battery homologation. To achieve its ambition, CRITT M2A is investing €9 million in new state-of-the-art testing facilities and the opening of a new department – the GTC for Giga Test Center – dedicated to “production conformity and battery homologation”.

By doubling its testing capacity, CRITT M2A is at the heart of the future challenges facing the automotive industry and anticipates the future needs of French and European gigafactories.

As early as 2015, the CRITT M2A anticipated the energy transition of the automotive sector and developed new skills in the electrification of vehicles with the opening of its battery test center for electric and hybrid vehicles. At the end of 2021, its entire 10,000 m² electrical test center will be inaugurated.

Like ACC, CRITT M2A is located in the heart of the Artois Metropolitan Cluster, a territory that is at the heart of the emerging battery industry in Hauts-de-France. This Giga Test Center project is thus in line with the investments made for many years in electric mobility in collaboration with the Béthune-Bruay urban community.

The CRITT M2A is located near the first gigafactory for electric car batteries in France, the Automotive Cells Company. The ACC gigafactory, located in Billy-Berclau (near Béthune), will mass produce battery cells by the end of 2023, reaching a cruising speed of more than 2.5 million units per year in 2030.

With the signing of the partnership with ACC, CRITT M2A has taken an important step in its total transition towards electromobility. To double its test capacity and meet the expectations of future French and European gigafactories, the CRITT M2A, with the help of the Hauts-de-France Regional Council, ERDF and BPI, is investing €9 million in the opening of its Giga Test Center.

This new department, which marks the end of CRITT M2A’s activities on thermal engines, will host 15 new expert collaborators, a hundred or so measurement channels to test the cells and modules produced by ACC and innovative test means to manage the climate, vibration and safety of batteries.

The first tests will be carried out from October 2023 onwards to accompany the ramp-up of the gigafactory and run at full capacity from 2024.

Yann Vincent, General Manager of ACC, said: “With the establishment of our gigafactory, the first in France, in the heart of the Hauts-de-France region, ACC is an essential link in the “Electric Valley. This strategic location, in France’s leading automotive region, allows us to benefit from the expertise of partners whose know-how is recognised on an international scale. By joining forces with the CRITT M2A, already a partner for our R&D tests, for the homologation and certification of our battery production, we are choosing excellence and a territorial alliance.”

Jérôme Bodelle, CEO of CRITT M2A, said: “We are delighted to continue and expand the partnership between our electromobility test centre and ACC. A real trust and recognition has been established between our two entities on the R&D side, which takes a new step forward with this long-term contract on production testing. ACC is a pioneer in the electrification of the automotive market. We are pleased to be able to support them in this major project, which represents a strategic step for CRITT M2A in its development towards all-electricity”.

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