The world’s largest carmakers are accelerating in their race to source critical batteries in one of the world’s largest markets for electric-vehicles, with Renault and Nissan on track for new production facilities in Europe. Renault RNO, +1.12% announced on Monday that it had entered a partnership with China’s Envision AESC as it sets up a battery gigafactory in the northern French city of Douai.

The plant will manufacture new batteries to support the carmaker’s electric-vehicle ambitions. The auto giant has also signed a deal with French startup Verkor to co-develop and manufacture high-performance batteries, with a view to Renault owning more than 20% of the firm. In the U.K., Nissan 7201, -2.00% is set to announce a major expansion of battery production in the northern English city of Sunderland, where it already has a major vehicle manufacturing plant, the BBC reported on Monday.

The move would create thousands of new jobs, both directly and in the supply chain, could also accompany the launch of a new electric-vehicle model, according to the report. Europe overtook China in 2020 as the world’s largest market for electric-vehicles, amid a pedal-to-the-metal push across the region to increase EV adoption with new fines over emissions targets for manufacturers and increased incentives for buyers.

While China has taken back the top spot in 2021, Europe remains a critical market for global automakers looking to sell more electric-vehicles. Together, Renault and Nissan, which are joined in a manufacturing alliance, accounted for 12.5% of the electric-vehicles registered in 18 key Europe markets by April 2021, according to automotive analyst Matthias Schmidt, the publisher of the European Electric Car Report.

Those 18 markets include 14 major European Union states plus the U.K., Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland.

Read more: This key region is the focus of new electric-vehicle battery production among global auto giants