“Working for the future”, the good health of electric batteries in Aquitaine

It’s a booming market because our everyday items are full of them and the market of the future. With its many specialized companies, New Aquitaine decided to structure the electric battery sector to better support its new players and develop new outlets.

We are increasing the number of connected and electrified facilities. Batteries continue to be manufactured and improved. In Aquitaine, top companies have been established for years and are now adapting to this new market.

Like SAFT, the legendary factory from Bordeaux. Yesterday specialized in railways, today it designs, in equal parts, custom batteries for cutting-edge systems in aviation and space.

In its workshops, custom-made batteries are made every day, such as the one for the landing gear of Airbus in case of emergency, which are equipped with all aircraft of this brand. A cutting-edge, ultra-specific field that the company develops in its laboratories.

Thus, faced with the increase of electronics in aircraft controls, these workshops produced 30% additional batteries for the aircraft part compared to 2022. Which represents 15,000 batteries for the year 2023.

Railways (1000 batteries produced every year), space and aeronautics are very specific markets where SAFT occupies 80% of the market share.

A real success for this French company, which is present in 16 locations abroad, of which three French locations are located in New Aquitaine. While those from Poitiers and Nirsac are more specifically dedicated to production, the one from Bordeaux is also developing its research and development center and focusing on advances in technology.

The purpose is to design and produce a high-tech battery that meets customer requirements

Melanie Grand

Saft factory manager

Supported by dedicated aid from the Nouvelle Aquitaine region and the European Union, certain companies are developing new sales outlets for more durable batteries and thus adapting to the challenges of tomorrow and the energy transition.

Voltéo, established in the Gironde for 20 years, has just commissioned a workshop for the renewal of lithium batteries, to support the development of soft mobility (electric bicycles, scooters and hoverboards among others).

Designed and installed for a year, this workshop has already renewed more than sixty batteries in two months of its existence. After being disassembled, the batteries are inspected to test their components, especially the accumulators, before being reassembled for a new life.

“We work for the future”, says Karine Fabre, director of Volté, because “the challenges of recycling and reusing battery components are key”. And in an industry that pollutes the environment a lot, where the difficulty of lithium extraction is at the center of numerous political and economic conflicts.

Editions such as Voltéo are preparing to open a new reconditioning factory in Bazas, Gironde, which will soon employ 60 people.

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