Foresee Power to build battery systems gigafactory in Ohio

By Becky Schultz28 June 2022

Foresee Power said the Columbus Region had "the right ecosystem of potential supply chain partners, academic partners and the right fit for workforce" for its North American operations. (Photo: Foresee Power)

Foresee Power, a French provider of smart battery systems, announced its plans to establish its North American headquarters and gigafactory in Hilliard, Ohio, in the Columbus Region. The company is establishing an industrial base in the United States to target the growing commercial vehicle market –primarily buses, trucks, off-highway vehicles, light urban and utility vehicles and trains – while leveraging its experience of more than 1,200 buses and 100,000 light vehicles currently equipped with Foresee Power batteries.

The move will optimize costs and the supply chain, plus is required for certain key markets such as the city bus market, which requires a local presence to comply with the FAST Act’s Buy America provision (70% of value must be produced locally in public procurement).

The 138000-sq.-ft. scalable Hilliard site will host corporate office, manufacturing operations and R&D capabilities. It is strategically located to attract operators and engineers in a fast-growing neighborhood.

“We found Columbus to have the right ecosystem of potential supply chain partners, academic partners and the right fit for workforce as we are looking at hiring production operators, R&D engineers and a full leadership team to run our North American activity,” explained Christophe Gurtner, Chairman & CEO of Forsee Power. “The US administration has designed a very ambitious roadmap toward decarbonation. There are tremendous opportunities to grow on our target market segments. Our field-proven experience, our ability to scale up industrial capabilities and to innovate zero-emission solutions for electric vehicle manufacturers will be key assets to rapidly position as a leader in North America.”

To quickly start its North American operations, Foresee Power plans to duplicate the production of existing products and product ranges; cover the needs of current and local customers with its line of battery systems as well as systems designed specifically for the US market; and foster the emergence of a local skills base. The aim is to achieve a production capacity of 3 GWh in the U.S. by 2027. The company estimates first-phase investments of more than EUR 13 million ($13.7 million USD) to adapt its product offering to the local market, build production lines and recruit a local team of 150 employees.

Jay Deis, who has been appointed president of Foresee Power North America and has extensive international experience in the automotive and commercial vehicle industries, will establish the North American organization, manufacturing operations and product expertise required to serve the market.

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