Northvolt AB has announced the production of its first lithium-ion battery out of its gigafactory in northern Sweden.
The Ett site is the first gigafactory in Europe, with Northvolt shifting its manufacturing base from Asia to Europe. The start-up has secured orders from the likes of Polestar, Volkswagen and BMW AG for lithium-ion cells.
Northvolt are backed by investment from Volkswagen and BMW, so they have the financial clout to roll out more gigafactories in the future.
As Europe’s first gigafactory, Ett represents an important step in the right direction towards reducing dependency on Asia for EV batteries, with the plant’s production capacity scalable to achieve 60 gigawatt hours per year.
60 gigawatt hours equates to over 300,000 vehicles per year, although scaling up to meet this demand will require more investment.
“Of course, this first cell is only the beginning. Over the course of the coming years, we look forward to Northvolt Ett expanding its production capacity greatly to enable the European transition to clean energy.”Northvolt Chief Executive Officer, Peter Carlsson
There are hardly any other large EV battery factories in Europe, except for LG’s Wrocław factory and Samsung’s Budapest factory.
In November, Northvolt also announced the production of the world’s first 100% recycled EV battery. To make the 100% recycled battery, Northvolt gathered waste from its lithium-ion recycling program, Revolt, breaking down materials to extract cobalt, manganese and nickel with a hydrometallurgical treatment.
In December, VW also partnered with 24M Technologies for their semi-solid battery tech which could yield significant battery manufacturing improvements.