Swedish startup plans local battery gigafactory

September 12, 2017 //By Nick Flaherty
Swedish startup plans local battery gigafactory
A Scandinavian startup is planning to build a lithium ion battery ‘gigafactory’ in Sweden.

Northvolt was set up by Peter Carlsson, a senior supply chain executive for Tesla. The company has identified two sites in Sweden for the factory and is reported to be raising €100m for the venture after an initial round of $14m. The factory will break ground next year and start production in 2020, producing 32GWh of batteries a year.

This compares to 35GWh produced by Tesla’s gigafactory in the US next year, rising to 50GWh by 2020. Samsung SDI's repurposed plasma screen factory in Hungary is set to start production late next year for batteries for 50,000 cars a year and BMZ has already built a battery gigafactory for electric vehicles in Karlstein, Germany, with an overall storage capacity of 30 GWh. Reaching the 32GWh capacity could cost NorthVolt up to €4bn say analysts.

"After an in-depth analysis of ten strong candidates for the location of Northvolt's first factory, we have agreed that these two locations are the most favorable alternatives. Electrification and storage of renewable energy are key to a carbon neutral society, and we have witnessed great enthusiasm for the project during our dialogues with representatives in both Västerås and Skellefteå", said Peter Carlsson, CEO of Northvolt.

The application process includes a local consultation process, which will begin during the autumn.

"We are moving at a very fast pace, which is necessary if we want to take on a leading role in the European market and meet the growing demand for batteries. The possibility for us to achieve a professional and timely environmental assessment is crucial. That is the reason why we will proceed with a parallel consultation process together with two municipalities”, said Carlsson.

www.northvolt.com

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