Northvolt is the Swedish battery producer with high ambitions. The company aims to build the greenest battery cell and systems in the world. The battery factory will be the biggest in Europe and help enable Europe’s transition to renewable energy.
Northvolt is building a factory that will produce lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and energy storage. The company was launched in 2017 and already in 2018, the first product was delivered, a battery pack, to Epiroc’s fleet of underground mining machines. The same year, the first battery cell was produced. Since the start in 2016, Northvolt has grown from 3 employees to 500 from 71 different nationalities.
The need for sustainable energy sources
The first battery factory is being built in Skellefteå, a small town in the north of Sweden. But it was no coincidence that Northvolt decided to establish in Skellefteå. Northvolt needs green electricity and high output to produce green batteries – and it needs lots of it. When the factory is complete in 2024/2025, the energy consumption will equal 1-2 % of the total energy consumption in the whole of Sweden.
The Skellefteå region is known for its renewable energy production from hydro and wind power. The factory in Skellefteå, Northvolt Ett, will serve as the main production site and include active material preparation, cell assembly, recycling and auxiliaries. The full capacity of the factory will be 32 GWh.
In addition to the gigafactory in Sweden, Volkswagen and Northvolt have set up a joint venture to establish a 20 GWh battery cell factory with an intended location in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, Germany. The company also has a production site for battery modules and energy storage solutions in Gdansk, Poland.
Northvolt Labs, located in Västerås, Sweden, is a demonstration line which includes a research facility, that is used to qualify and industrialise products and processes together with Northvolt’s partners and customers.
Thinking green all the way
To create the greenest battery cell in the world, a sustainable energy source is not enough. Northvolt thinks sustainable all the way and is establishing a robust ecosystem for battery recycling to close the loop for batteries. A full-scale recycling plant will be built in the factory in Skellefteå, which is believed to be able to recycle about 25,000 tonnes of battery cells every year.
Solutions and further development
Northvolt’s battery cells and systems can be applied to many industries, such as the automotive and industrial industries. The company is also offering portable battery-powered solutions for products such as screwdrivers, lawnmowers and bicycles.
In May 2020, Northvolt launched a mobile energy storage solution – Voltpack Mobile System, In June 2020, Norwegian company Hydro and Northvolt launch Hydro Volt; a joint venture to establish an electric vehicle battery recycling facility in Norway in 2021. In November 2020, Northvolt began a cooperation with the Swedish lightweight electric performance motorcycle producer CAKE.