French-based Automotive Cells Co (ACC) is in early talks with officials in Canada and the United States on setting up a battery manufacturing plant in North America, an ACC spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.
ACC is a joint venture between Stellantis, Total Energies and Mercedes-Benz Group.
Its representatives met with officials from the Quebec government in Canada, from the mayor’s office in the city of Mirabel in Quebec, and with representatives of the federal government in the province in May this year, according to the provincial and federal government lobby registry.
The lobbying efforts were to enquire about direct funding, incentives and grants related to site selection, development and construction of a new battery processing facility in the province of Quebec, according to public documents.
“ACC is conducting simple exploratory studies, without commitment. We are focused on executing our already very ambitious European industrial and technological roadmap,” a company spokesperson told Reuters in a statement.
Canadian government officials were not available for an immediate comment. Officials from Invest Quebec declined to comment.
ACC said it was exploring plans in North America but gave no details on talks it has held in the United States.
The federal and provincial government lobby registry showed that the talks have terminated. According to a person familiar with ACC’s thinking, the discussions are still under way, “but they may be complicated in the light of what happened between Stellantis and LG and the Canadian government.” The source was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity.
Last month , Stellantis resolved a dispute with the Canadian government over subsidies to build an EV plant with its South Korean LG Energy Solution, under which the project could receive incentives up to C$15 billion ($11 billion).
ACC, which was launched in 2020, has announced electric-vehicle battery plants in Germany, France and Italy with a 7 billion-euro ($7.7 billion) investment.
Global auto companies and EV battery makers have been eying the North American market to set up new manufacturing plants, as Canadian and the U.S. governments roll out incentives to manufacturers, in an effort to lower their reliance on China for critical minerals.
In Canada, the provincial government of Quebec is hoping that its proximity to the U.S. port cities will help it gather some investments in the EV battery space to its province. The government has been funding lithium explorers and battery manufacturers.
(Reporting by Divya Rajagopal in Toronto and Gilles Guillaume in Paris; Additional reporting by Giulio Piovaccari in Milan and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Denny Thomas, Hugh Lawson and Matthew Lewis)