Northvolt, a Swedish battery manufacturer, stated on Wednesday that it has produced the very first lithium ion unit inside its Skelleftea factory, meeting its goal of starting production by the end of 2021. Northvolt, which competes with Tesla’s battery division and is valued at $12 billion by investors, announced in June that it had created the world’s first battery of its kind inside a European gigafactory.
Gigafactories are large battery plants with annual output in gigawatt-hours (GWh). The facility, Northvolt Ett in Skelleftea, is expected to produce 60 GWh annually. Northvolt said that the gigafactory produced the battery on Tuesday.
Northvolt’s co-founder and CEO Peter Carlsson said that the first cell is only the beginning.
“For the coming years, we look forward to Northvolt Ett expanding its production capacity greatly to enable the European transition to clean energy., ” he said.
Only two gigafactories are currently planned in the UK: one is an enlargement of an existing battery plant in Sunderland, and the other is being developed by a firm called Britishvolt.
Most electric vehicle batteries are now made in the United States and Asia, but Northvolt hopes to change that. Northvolt has already negotiated contracts worth more than $30 billion with firms including BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Polestar despite only being in business for less than six years.
In a statement, Northvolt said sales will begin in 2022, and production capacity will rise to 60 gigawatt-hours in the coming years, which can power around one million electric vehicles. Several investors have contributed over $6.5 billion for the company’s expansion. AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4, and OMERS are among new investors in Northvolt’s latest funding round, co-led by Goldman Sachs and VW. The round also included previous investors such as Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek and investment management firm Baillie Gifford.
Northvolt AB is a battery researcher and manufacturer based in Sweden that specialises in lithium-ion battery technology for electric vehicles.Northvolt was formed by two former Tesla executives and is backed by Goldman Sachs and Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Elk. SGF Energy was formed in 2015 by Peter Carlsson, who was previously an executive at Tesla Motors and is now the company’s CEO. The company’s name was changed to Northvolt in 2017. It was formed with the goal of supplying electric car batteries to the automobile sector.
What can Northvolt do?
According to the International Panel on Climate Change, road transportation exhaust gases account for around 16% of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. Although electric vehicles have the potential to significantly mitigate climate change, the batteries that will power them have a cost to the environment. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are produced during the refining of ores to manufacture critical battery components, generating problems such as acid rain and smog. Manufacturing processes that consume a lot of energy emit a lot of CO2. If discarded in a landfill, used batteries pose a risk of leaching harmful substances.
Northvolt strives to minimize these effects at every turn. According to the company, the gigafactory will run on hydroelectricity, many of its raw materials will be refined near to where they are mined rather than hauled halfway across the world, reducing the carbon footprint of the batteries. Emissions will be reduced by strict environmental controls, and chemical recycling procedures would reclaim more raw materials from old batteries.