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London Tech Week

Former Tesla executive to lead Volvo Cars and Northvolt’s new gigafactory in Gothenburg

Image credits: Northvolt

The battery is playing a significant role in the transition to a more renewable world. According to Grand View Research, the global battery market is expected to reach ​$310.8B by 2027.

“Technological advancements in terms of enhanced efficiency and cost reduction are likely to open new paths for the global market over the estimated period,” adds the report.

The automotive sector is witnessing high growth in the EVs segment, which is expected to boost demand.

Volvo and Northvolt join hands

To address it, Volvo Cars and Northvolt have decided to establish a new battery manufacturing plant in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Northvolt is a European supplier of sustainable, high-quality battery cells and systems.

“Establishing this gigafactory in Gothenburg is a decisive move, both to continue to transform one of the most dynamic automotive regions in the world, and to become the leading global supplier of sustainable batteries”, says Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt.

The new plant will commence operations in 2025, creating up to 3,000 jobs, and complementing the planned R&D centre, which was announced in December as part of a SEK 30B investment.

Volvo Cars and Northvolt have appointed former Tesla executive Adrian Clarke to lead the production company. As per the company’s claims, large-scale recruitment of operators and technicians will begin in late 2023.

“Our battery cell partnership with Northvolt is key to our strategic ambitions in electrification,” says Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars chief executive. “We are committed to becoming a leader in the premium electric car segment and selling only pure electric vehicles by 2030.”

What to expect?

According to Northvolt, construction of the plant will start in 2023, and it will produce state-of-the-art battery cells developed for use in next-generation pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars.

Northvolt says the plant will have a potential annual cell production capacity of up to 50 gigawatt-hours (GWh).

The new plant will be powered by fossil-free energy with a focus on driving renewable energy capacity in the region. Moreover, the new manufacturing plant will help Volvo Cars and Polestar significantly reduce the environmental footprint attributable to battery sourcing and production for their future cars.

The R&D centre, which will become operational in 2022, will create a few hundred jobs in Gothenburg and positions Volvo Cars as one of the few automotive brands to make battery cell development and production part of its end-to-end engineering capabilities.

Further, the partnership will focus on developing tailor-made batteries and vehicle integration concepts that give Volvo and Polestar drivers what they want, such as long-range and quick charging times.

Former Tesla executive to lead Volvo Cars and Northvolt’s new gigafactory in Gothenburg

Secured $30B worth of contracts

Northvolt has to date secured in excess of $30B worth of contracts from key customers, including BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars, and Polestar, to support its plans, which include establishing recycling capabilities to enable 50% of all its raw material requirements to be sourced from recycled batteries by 2030.

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