The Swedish Northvolt has started construction on their research and development center in Västerås. The facility is supposed to start developing, testing and industrializing lithium ion batteries as of 2019. This is a major step towards the planned lithium-ion battery factory in Skellefteå.
The company headed by former Tesla manager Peter Carlsson has previously secured funding from the Swedish energy company Energimyndigheten as well as the European Investment Bank.
Most recently, the utility vehicle manufacturer Scania and Northvolt announced their project to develop and market battery cells specifically designed for heavy utility vehicles. Scania invested about 10 million euro into the cooperation, to drive the development and the construction of a demonstration line forward. The money is also designated to flow into the research and development facility. Both companies want to build a team of experts to work in the Västerås facility and develop and optimize batteries for electric utility vehicles. The cooperation also entails a supply contract.
Last September Northvolt signed a basic agreement with ABB to build and supply the largest battery factory in Europe. ABB also sits in Västerås, however the factory will be constructed in Skellefteå. Construction is set to start in the second half of this year.
On the initiative of Maroš Šefčovic, the vice president of the Energy Union of the European Commission, the European Battery Alliance (EBA) was founded. This will focus on setting up a comprehensive European plan for local battery manufacturing. Northvolt, according to their own statements, has been an active part of the EBA since its inception.
In February the EU commission then introduced their plan, which entails 20 action points and contains a timeline until 2023, as well as safety and ecological standards and questions regarding financing. Many major partners are involved in the supply chain from resources to battery cells and packets, to recycling and second uses for batteries.