Vincent Bollore, a French billionaire, is jumping on the bandwagon and getting ready to build electric batteries for the vehicles of the future.
He is planning to set up shop in Canada, near Montreal.
It was announced by Bollore on Tuesday that his company, Bollore Group, plans to invest $120 million on a factory to produce batteries in Boucherville, which is located on Montreal’s south shore.
The batteries will be supercharged with lithium-metal polymer technology, giving electric cars a battery life of a distance of 250 kilometres and a maximum speed of 130 km/hr.
The innovative technology is endorsed as being safer than the lithium-ion power plants that major carmakers such as Nissan and General Motors are planning to use for production of their future lines of electric cars.
Lithium-ion batteries, Bollore said, are found in many laptops and mobile phones and are known to overheat.
“For a car, of course, it would be very dangerous” Bollore said in an interview. “It’s the first big factory in the world for [lithium-metal-polymer batteries].”
200 new workers are planning to be hired, on top of the 70 employees already existing at the factory. These employees will be building the batteries that will be used predominantly in electric cars and buses.
Bollore was ranked last year by Forbes as one of the richest people on Earth, worth around US$1.4 billion.