The regeneration of a former diesel engine piston plant at Chasseneuil in Grand Poitiers, Paris, is close to the Futuroscope theme park and will enables the group to begin mass production of its batteries by the end of 2018. More than 100 jobs are expected to be created this year, and around 300 by 2021, before any additional extension to the plant.
The group secured €55 million in funding last December to support industrial production of its battery systems from European Investment Bank, Mitsui in Japan and Idinvest Partners.
“This new facility gives Forsee Power the manufacturing capacity it needs to support the energy transition of public transport systems in Europe. This investment is a perfect fit with the Industry Plan announced by the French government at the end of last year, which particularly targets the development of a French batteries sector,” said Forsee Power CEO Christophe Gurtner.
The company has signed major battery supply contracts with high-profile bus manufacturers, including CNHI (Iveco and Heuliez), CaetanoBus in Portugal and Wrightbus in the UK.
The 15,000 m² facility will initially run 3 automated production lines offering sufficient capacity to manufacture 2,500 electric bus batteries per year (or the equivalent for industrial vehicles). All the roofs of the plant and its car parks will be covered with photovoltaic panels to generate 1.8 MWc of clean electricity to power the plant, with the surplus being injected into the main grid. 10,000 m² of additional land will be held in reserve for future growth.