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Volkswagen partners with Northvolt to advance batteries for electric vehicles

Volkswagen partners with Northvolt, a battery production startup founded by a former Tesla executive, to create a new consortium to advance batteries for electric vehicles in Europe.

Northvolt is already linked to Volkswagen after they took an investment through VW’s Scania division.

But now they are partnering directly with the giant German automaker to create the “European Battery Union (EBU) consortium.”

They describe the new effort:

“Partners from research and industry in seven EU member states are joining forces in the European Battery Union consortium. The comprehensive research collaboration will range from raw material production, to cell technology and cell production processes and through to recycling. The research activities will also focus on the development and engineering of plant technologies allowing sustainable, climate friendly and competitive battery cell production in the European Union.”

Volkswagen noted their investment in this project “could receive financial support from funding announced by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.”

Northvolt currently has a battery cell gigafactory under construction in Sweden.

The battery cell production facility is expected to start with a low volume capacity of 125 MWh per year, which they will then expand for the battery gigafactory.

The main factory is expected to start production in 2020 with a target capacity of 8 GWh per year and they will aim for 32 GWh of capacity once the entire factory is complete sometime in 2023.

Northvolt has the aspiration to serve the auto industry for vehicle electrification as well as other energy storage applications.

They started construction after securing a $68 million loan from InnovFin (EU Finance for Innovators’ Energy Demonstration Projects facility).

The company also announced plans for a new battery module factory in Europe.

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