Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle brand Scania has announced that it will invest over one billion Swedish kroner (around 100 million euros) in the construction of a battery assembly plant next to its chassis assembly plant in Södertälje, Sweden.
In future, battery modules and packages will be assembled there from cells supplied by Northvolt’s battery factory in Skellefteå. Scania plans to start construction of its battery assembly plant in early 2021, which should be fully operational by 2023.
It has been clear since May 2019 that Scania signed a supply agreement with Northvolt when Scania CEO Henrik Henriksson confirmed the deal in an interview. Still now, the agreed delivery volume has not yet been disclosed. What the company has revealed, is where it intends to further process the battery cells.
In Södertälje, the first step will be to build an 18,000 square meter plant. There the Swedish company wants to assemble the cells into packs that are tailored to Scania’s modular production. The packs will be designed for different applications, such as an electric bus, electric truck or plug-in hybrid truck, and delivered to the nearby vehicle assembly plant. The battery assembly plant is to employ a total of 200 people, “mostly” coming from within the company.
“This is a tangible manifestation of our determination to take a leading role in heavy vehicle electrification, which is needed to fulfil our commitment to science-based climate targets,” says Ruthger de Vries, Head of Production and Logistics at Scania. “Operating an on-site battery assembly plant is a prerequisite for large-scale production of electric vehicles and it also establishes Scania clearly as a part of the battery production value chain.”
In September, Scania unveiled a battery-electric truck and a PHEV truck that are scheduled to go into series production in 2021. Both models are based on the Swedish manufacturer’s modular system and are each available with L and P-series cabs optimised for urban use. The Swedes play only a minor role in Europe when it comes to electric buses – suppliers such as Solaris, VDL, Volvo, but increasingly Daimler and VW’s sister company MAN are coming up with significantly larger orders. Most recently, however, Scania won a tender in Sweden.