France has opened its first electric vehicle (EV) battery plant near Lens.
A part of President Macron’s ‘reindustrialisation’ plans, the plant will create 2,000 jobs and has received €1.3 billion (£1.1bn) in funding from France, Germany and Italy.
It will be operated by Automotive Cell Company, which is owned by Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis and TotalEnergies.
The plant is projected to make 800,000 batteries each year and becomes one of Europe’s responses to China’s huge stake in the EV market.
Sites in Germany and Italy will follow the French one, as France looks to become self-sufficient in EV battery production by 2027.
The region where the facility has been built has recently been labelled ‘battery valley,’ as many other battery companies have set up shop there.
Macron has set a target to increase manufacturing from 10% of France’s economic output to 15%.