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Northvolt announces new battery gigafactory coming to Germany

Battery manufacturing startup Northvolt announced today a new battery cell gigafactory coming to Germany.

It’s the firm’s third large-scale battery factory.

Northvolt is a battery startup founded by two former Tesla executives who worked on Tesla’s first Gigafactory in Nevada with Panasonic.

The company planned to recreate the “gigafactory” concept of having a giant battery factory producing in the “gigawatt-hour” level of battery cells for electric cars.

It received backing and started factory projects with several automakers, including Volkswagen, and last year, it added Volvo to the list with a plan to build a new battery factory in Europe to support the Swedish automaker’s EV ambitions.

In December, Northvolt announced that it started battery cell production at its first gigafactory – lending more credibility to its several other battery factories in partnership with automakers.

Now the company is already closing the deal on a third gigafactory:

“Today Northvolt announces its intention to establish a battery gigafactory in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. With an annual potential production capacity of 60 GWh, Northvolt Drei will deliver a supply of sustainably produced lithium-ion batteries to the European market, sufficient for some one million electric vehicles.”

Adding to its two other gigafactories, it should increase Northvolt’s total capacity to a significant 170 GWh of battery cell production when the new plant goes into production in 2025.

Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt, commented on the new announcement:

“We’re excited to announce Northvolt Drei – a project which fits well into a promising future cluster of clean technology ventures emerging in northern Germany and advances the wider European transition towards a sustainable society within which Germany plays a crucial role.”

Part of the reason the new plant landed in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, is due to the region being known for having the cleanest energy grid in Germany thanks to onshore and offshore wind power, which is also reinforced by clean energy provided through grid interconnections to Denmark and Norway.

Carlsson added,

“It matters how we produce a battery cell. If you use coal in your production, you embed a fair amount of CO2 into your battery, but if we use clean energy, we can build a very sustainable product. Our philosophy is that new energy-intensive industries, such as battery manufacturing, should be established in actual geographical proximity to where the clean energy is produced,”

Battery cell production is an energy-intensive manufacturing process and having access to clean energy makes a big difference.

Northvolt is also committed to establishing a recycling facility at the new plant. The company has a strong commitment to recycling batteries and plans to use a high percentage of recycled battery materials in its future production.

Last year, Northvolt claimed to have produced the first battery cell from ‘100% recycled nickel, manganese, and cobalt.’

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