The Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt announced that on December 28, it successfully produced the first lithium-ion battery cell that was designed, developed and built entirely in Europe by a self-manufactured company.
“Last night, the commissioning of Northvolt A gig factory in northern Sweden led to the installation of the first battery cell,” Northvolt wrote. The company’s factory, located in Västerås, Sweden, is the first factory in Europe to have a cell that has been “fully designed, developed and assembled in a gig factory by a home-grown European battery company”, the company added.
The production of the cell is a huge milestone for Northvolt, which has been working to start up its gig factory since 2017. The company said that the cell is of a prismatic cell format, which consists of large sheets of anodes, cathodes and separators sandwiched, rolled up and pressed to fit into a cubic metallic or hard plastic casing, according to All About Circuits.
“Today is a major milestone for Northvolt that the team has worked very hard to achieve,” said Peter Carlsson, CEO and co-founder of Nortvolt. “Obviously, this first cell is just the beginning. In the coming years, we look forward to Northvolt One expanding its production capacity sharply to enable the European transition to clean energy.”
Northvolt Labs in Västerås has been in production since the beginning of 2020, the company says. Northvolt plans to expand the plant’s production capacity to 60 GWh per year, which will fulfill contracts worth more than $ 30 billion that the battery manufacturer has already locked with various car manufacturers, including BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, Polestar, Fluence and Scania. Northvolt One will commercially deliver different cell types in 2022.
Although the company is based in Europe and has different partnerships with European vehicle and energy storage companies, it has no plans to service only units that only exist on the same continent. Earlier this year, Northvolt reported Financial Times that it planned to enter Asia and North America, where large companies such as China’s CATL, South Korea’s LG, SK Group and Samsung, and Japan’s Panasonic are already establishing themselves. Companies in Asia have the same plans, as LG and CATL have plans to open battery manufacturing facilities in Poland and Germany. SK Group will expand its already operating Hungarian factory.
Northvollt already has over 500 employees, representing 56 nationalities in its place in Skellefteå.
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