French Billionaire Invests $120 Million in Electric Car Battery Plant Near Montréal

vincent bollore bluecar electric photo

Photo: Creative Commons
For Pininfarina-Bolloré Bluecar and Bolloré Microbus
In what is probably a good sign for the North-American availability of the Bluecar electric vehicle, French billionaire Vincent Bolloré has picked a location East of Montréal to make lithium-metal-polymer batteries. The plan is to increase production to 5,000 units/year in 2010 and 15,000 units/year by 2012, which means hiring 200 employees on top of the 70 that currently work at the facility.

Photo: Pininfarina-Bolloré

Mr. Bolloré thinks that his battery chemistry is superior to lithium-ion, which is used by most other car makers, because:

Lithium-ion batteries, often used in laptops and mobile phones, have been known to overheat and even catch fire, he added.

"Such a technology is not good for a big quantity of energy," said Bollore, who indicates there's no overheating risk with his technology.

"For a car, of course, it would be very dangerous."

Of course, this must be taken with a grain of salt since this comes from someone who selling a competing product...

This investment in Québec is part of Bolloré's $1.5 billion initiative to have 2 plants with a production capacity of 30,000 batteries/year to supply auto makers with an alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

The factory was bought by Bolloré from Hydro-Québec, a state-owned power company, in 2007.

Via AFP (French)

Check out our Pininfarina-Bolloré Bluecar slideshow!

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