Volvo and Northvolt start building battery cell factory in Gothenburg
Volvo Cars and Northvolt announced the joint battery cell factory in February 2022 and received building permission from the Swedish Land and Environment Court this summer. In August, the city planning committee in Gothenburg also granted building permits for the first construction phase. The corresponding building will contain the first production line and be commissioned at the end of 2026.
The future operator of the plant will be the Volvo-Northvolt joint venture called Novo Energy. To kick off construction work, the stakeholders met for a groundbreaking ceremony. Work on the construction site will not officially begin for a few days, specifically on 1 October. Still, preparatory projects are already underway, for example, for the later cooling and power supply of the plant.
“It’s a great day for us, a real milestone. We are grateful to everyone who contributes in different ways. The know-how and innovation that exists here in Gothenburg is fantastic. We have been able to grow to 200 people in a short time, but we need to continue to grow rapidly, and scale up as our entire industry grows,” says Adrian Clarke, CEO of Novo Energy.
The factory has a potential annual capacity of up to 50 GWh and is expected to employ more than 3,000 people when completed. For Sweden, the Novo plant is the second battery cell production facility after Northolt’s plant in Skellefteå. Volvo Cars and Northvolt first announced plans for the plant in the Gothenburg district of Torslanda, near Volvo’s vehicle plant there, in February 2022. At the time, the aim was to have the plant up and running by 2025. In the meantime, Novo assumes that it will be 2026.
The two partners still do not specify the exact amount invested in the Gothenburg plant. However, it was announced in 2022 that the pair intends to make a total investment of 30 billion Swedish kronor, or about 2.9 billion euros. This sum, however, also includes the construction of a joint research facility around batteries.
According to an earlier announcement, the Novo factory will not only supply Volvo’s Torslanda plant because the battery cells will be used in both Volvo-branded BEVs and Polestar vehicles. Polestar has manufactured its cars exclusively in China (probably also in the USA from 2024). Details on the battery cell produced in the new factory are still not public. A press photo published last year showed a prismatic cell – but there was no information on the cell chemistry or energy content.