Blue Solutions and Bluebus partner with Forsee Power to develop the 100%-French battery of the future and source lithium-ion battery systems
Paris, March 9, 2023 – 5:45 pm – Blue Solutions and Bluebus, subsidiaries of the Bolloré Group, and Forsee Power (FR0014005SB3 – FORSE) announce that they have signed two memorandums of understanding to launch two new collaborative projects. On the one hand, Blue Solutions and Forsee Power are initiating the development of 100%-French solid-state battery systems that will be available on the market from 2026. On the other hand, Bluebus and Forsee Power partner to integrate the latest lithium-ion battery systems to expand the range of 6-meter and 12-meter buses, and thus meet all the expectations of the European, Middle Eastern and African markets.
The battery of the future, Made-in-France
The solid-state battery is recognized as one of the most promising approaches. Blue Solutions has been the only company in the world to produce such batteries since 2011. Thirty years of R&D and twelve years of production history have enabled the company to achieve considerable technological and industrial progresses, particularly with lithium metal and polymer electrolytes. Blue Solutions supplies its batteries to renowned manufacturers, as well as to its sister company Bluebus, developing a holistic knowledge of systems as well as vehicle and operating needs.
Forsee Power, expert in smart battery systems, designs and manufactures high value-added lithium-ion battery systems for heavy and light mobility applications. Whatever the charging infrastructure – overnight or fast charging – or the hybrid mode – hydrogen or thermal – the European leader’s high power and/or high energy solutions meet all the needs of vehicle manufacturers and transport operators.
The new generation of battery cell (GEN4) developed by Blue Solutions and integrated by Forsee Power will achieve unparalleled performance in terms of energy density, it will be able to maintain its capacity throughout its life and will meet the exact requirements of operators and manufacturers in terms of speed of charge, durability, and safety.
On the way to a wider range of 100% electric city buses
Bluebus, French manufacturer of 100% electric buses, will offer – in addition to its current LMP® range – 6 and 12-meter buses equipped with high energy density lithium-ion NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) battery systems FORSEE ZEN PLUS and FORSEE ZEN SLIM. Bluebus will thus be able to meet all the specific needs of its customers and address new market segments.
- The precursor of the world’s thinnest modular battery, ZEN SLIM is available in modules of 11, 16 or 21 kWh and will equip the 6-meter Bluebus. Thanks to its ultra-thin design, it can meet the most demanding volume constraints.
- The new ZEN PLUS battery system – launched in 2022 – will be used in the 12-metre Bluebus. ZEN PLUS consists of 28 to 32 modules delivering 74 kWh to 84 kWh of energy per pack, and forms an optimal system adapted to the needs of transport lines.
NMC lithium-ion cells, combined with efficient liquid thermal management and addressing all climate zones, offer a lifetime of 5,000 cycles to ZEN SLIM and ZEN PLUS systems. They also offer an extremely competitive total cost of ownership (TCO).
Enhancing French skills for electromobility
The Blue Solutions and Bluebus production sites are located in Ergué-Gabéric in Brittany and employ nearly 500 people in a total area of 20,000 sqm, with respective capacities of 300 MWh and 300 buses per year. The Bluebuses have been awarded the Origine France Garantie label.
Forsee Power employs 350 people in France, including nearly 200 in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, where the battery systems for the Bluebus will be produced. This state-of-the-art 15,000 sqm industrial site has the capacity to be expanded to keep pace with the growth of the electromobility markets.
“We are very pleased to contribute to the strengthening of the French industry with Forsee Power. In the battery field, we bring our unique solid-state cell technology and will develop with Forsee Power the battery systems of the future. As for the bus market, we are looking to expand our current offer: Forsee Power batteries will help us cover all the specific uses of our customers,” says Richard Bouveret, Chairman and CEO of Blue Solutions and Bluebus.
“We are delighted with these partnerships with Blue Solutions and Bluebus, which strengthen our range of battery solutions and the market share of Forsee Power – already leader in the electric bus segment in Europe. To decarbonize heavy transport, our R&D teams develop highly modular solutions in a variety of formats that can be fitted to both new electric buses and vehicles already operated by fleets in the case of battery system replacement or retrofit. These collaborations between French manufacturers strengthen the European battery industry and electromobility offer,” explains Christophe Gurtner, Chairman and CEO of Forsee Power.