Northvolt starts delivering cells from Skellefteå factory
Northvolt has started commercial deliveries of battery cells to a car manufacturer. It makes the Swedish start-up the first European firm that has managed to do so. And, they have made the shipments from the Ett factory in Skellefteå, Sweden, on schedule.
Production has only been running for a few months. Northvolt’s first battery cell factory in Sweden that is now delivering made the first cell in December as reported. Already then, the company was confident, naming the date as “a new chapter in European industrial history” as it would be the first battery cell “designed, developed and assembled entirely in a Gigafactory by a domestic European battery company”. Having managed that, production is expected to increase further this year.
The Northvolt Ett factory currently employs about 1,000 people, a company spokesperson told Bloomberg, prompting the news agency to add that Northvolt continues hiring about 150 new employees each month. The company expects the number of employees in North Sweden to rise to around 4,000 in the long term, up from an earlier estimate of 3,000.
The report made no mention of who Northvolt supplied with the first cells. However, their push answers a dire need across the European car industry. The company, founded by ex-Tesla VP for Supply chain, Peter Carlsson, has signed contracts with carmakers worth more than $50 billion so far, and Bloomberg suggests this may help the newcomers survive skyrocketing prices for raw materials. Among Northvolt’s customers are BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar. The cooperation with Volkswagen will for example see the factory in Skellefteå deliver the new “standard” cells to the Group. Previous plans to run a factory in Salzgitter together have been scrapped.
In addition, Northvolt recently received a grant of 155 million for its planned battery plant in Germany. Northvolt Three will be built in the town of Heide, close to the border of Denmark, and is to go into operation in 2025, employing up to 3,000 people. According to Northvolt, the envisioned 60 GWh capacity will be enough for around one million electric vehicles. The Northvolt Drei plant increases Northvolt’s total production capacity to 170 GWh.
The company also announced another cell factory in Sweden, not far from Volvo’s Torslanda plant, in partnership with Volvo Cars this April. This will be Northvolt’s third battery factory in Sweden. The company is refurbishing an old paper mill in Borlänge into a gigafactory to produce up to 100 GWh of cathode material as well as battery cells.
A few days ago, Hydrovolt, Northvolt’s joint venture with Norsk Hydro, also commissioned its battery recycling plant in Fredrikstad, Norway.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.