Two former Tesla executives broke out on their own to build a battery gigafactory in Europe. After launching their fundraising effort and partnering with ABB, they now announced the location of the factory in Sweden.
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They were considering several locations in Europe, but they have now landed on two Swedish municipalities: Skellefteå, where the factory will be located, and Västerås, a city in central Sweden near Stockholm where they will build a research and development center.
Northvolt explains its logic behind the two locations in a press release today:
Skellefteå is part of a raw material and mining cluster in the north of Sweden and has a long history of process manufacturing and recycling. Skellefteå will be the location of Northvolt’s first large-scale lithium-ion battery factory and will serve as the main production site, which includes active material preparation, cell assembly, recycling and auxiliaries. The factory will employ 2,000-2,500 people.
Västerås has a strong standing within energy and electrification. It is home to several multinational companies, including ABB, with world class engineering and R&D competence in electrification and process optimization. Northvolt will establish its R&D facility in Västerås, including a demonstration line which will be used to qualify and industrialize products and processes. The Västerås operations will employ 300-400 people.
Västerås makes sense following what seems to be an important partnership with ABB to build the factory.
As we previously reported, Northvolt plans to build a demonstration-line with ABB to be ready by 2019. The factory is expected to start production in 2020, at which point they target a capacity of 8 GWh per year and they aim for 32 GWh of capacity once the entire factory will be completed in 2023.
It would make it the biggest li-ion battery factory in Europe and comparable in size to the first phase of Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, a project that Peter Carlsson, Founder and CEO of Northvolt, and Paolo Cerruti, COO of Nortvolt, both worked on.