The Swedish start-up company Northvolt said last week it had selected the coastal town Skelefteå north-east in Sweden for its electric car battery factory.
The two people behind the startup company are two Tesla Motor veterans, CEO Peter Carlsson and chief operating officer Paolo Cerruti. Skelefteå is a perfect site for such a plant due to its access to key raw materials, such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite.
Northvolt will then be a rival to Tesla’s U. S. ‘Gigafactory’ and South Korea’s LG Chem’s proposed site in Poland. However, the company continues to seek the billions of euros needed to finance the scheme. Carlsson admitted in an interview with the Financial Times, that funding would be “the most challenging” issue.
The aim is to be capable of making 32 gigawatt-hours of battery packs a year by 2023, at a cost of just over 4 billion euros. The batteries will be aimed at electric cars and other new energy vehicles (NEVs), renewable energy producers looking for electricity storage, as well as industrial companies.
Europe is making 20% of the global vehicle market, 18 million units a year, and the increase in EV penetration increases the incentive for large-scale battery-production for the close markets.
The plant located in Skelefteå will eventually employ 2,000-2,500 people while the research and development operations will be set up in Västerås, west of Stockholm.
“If environmental processes and other permitting moves as planned, we will be able to put the shovel in the earth during the latter part of 2018,” Carlsson told a news conference. It is planned to raise production gradually between 2020 and 2023.
Europe’s Largest Battery Factory for Electric Cars to be Built in Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg