The article is available on https://www.lesechos.fr/partenaires/bpifrance/
Cofounded in 2011 by François Barsacq, easyLi designs and manufactures tailor-made lithium-ion batteries for the electromobility market, as well as turnkey energy storage solutions for residential homes. The company is a member of Bpifrance’s Les Excellences’ community, Coq Vert and French Fab – networks that bring together agile, high tech businesses that, thanks to local sourcing and logistics chains, provide lifelong support for their products.
Electric batteries ‘made in Asia’ aren’t inevitable, even if 90% of lithium-ion cells still come from China, Korea and Japan. But France must respond and can count on easyLi to provide a thriving, local alternative that adds value in terms of service and environmental impact.
“Our belief at the outset, in the face of numerous instances of industrial delocalisation, one following the other, was to say that certain markets needed local manufacturing expertise, which are as innovative technically as they are in terms of associated services. Today’s Covid crisis cruelly demonstrates that a total dependence on Asia poses real problems with regard to national sovereignty and discontinuity of services.
French industry and the wider European one, came to realise during the first confinement that their supply chains were very dependent on Asian producers. Of-course, there will always be products imported from Asia in great quantities, and parts of the manufacturing base that will never return. But new markets are developing and require a different, more specialised approach, whilst at the same time limiting their environmental impact”, explains the company president.
Over the last year, easyLi’s order books have been filling up, despite its core market — that of small, urban self-service and free-floating car sharing vehicles — being still in its infancy. Today that market is booming, just like the company, which designs custom lithium-ion batteries for two and four-wheel OEMs and electric vehicle operators, as well as solar energy storage solutions.
“It is a fast-moving industry. We provide our technical expertise with agility and responsiveness, to best serve the applications of our customers. To meet their requirements and the particular demands of their markets, we work alongside our customers to develop custom-made solutions in terms of runtime, power, sizing and durability.”
Everything is developed in our premises close to Futuroscope, which bring together an R&D and prototyping facility, a chemical characterisation laboratory and a manufacturing workshop. The products are designed to last as long as possible, but also to be repairable.
“Our workshop manufactures new batteries and can service and maintain the batteries, enabling upgrades throughout their lifetime. We are capable of offering these industrial services because we work in close collaboration and proximity with our customers.”
Active in growing markets, the company has opened a Milan office and foresees a doubling of its turnover within three years. Accompanied in development of a local market by the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, easyLi is also supported by Bpifrance’s innovation programmes as well as by growth financing in response to the company’s need for working capital and product marketing.
“The next topic with Bpifrance concerns our export expansion. Most recently we were appointed ‘Pathfinder of the Coq Vert community’ to provide leadership and spread the word on issues like ecological and energy transition (transition écologique et énergétique – TEE) and on environmentally-friendly solutions. That is the message that we intend to share on the 6th April, ‘E day’, organised by Bpifrance to encourage businesses to join the ‘TEE train’.”