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Northvolt invests $750M into battery lab

To push the boundary on next-generation battery technologies Metal Tech News - October 7, 2021

Already established as a foremost European manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, Northvolt is now investing $750 million to expand its Northvolt Labs in Sweden into a fully integrated ecosystem for catalyzing technological advances in the emerging battery industry.

"There is today an irreversible momentum surrounding the switch to battery-electric solutions," said Northvolt CEO Peter Carlsson. "Northvolt Labs is being expanded in order to capitalize on this – to drive the transition at even greater speed towards safe, sustainable battery solutions."

This new and expanded campus will provide customers with access to a toolbox spanning the full spectrum of lithium-ion battery design, development, and lifecycle – from active materials and cell design to battery systems and recycling.

"By establishing a campus where industrial actors can engage, surrounded by all necessary facilities, it is our belief that we can create the necessary foundation for Europe to emerge as the leading region for a technology that is at the heart of the race to decarbonize," Carlsson added.

The first new facet of this expanding campus is already under construction – a research and development center that will enable the development of novel battery cell materials and products. The new products coming out of this new R&D facility are expected to widen the scope of Northvolt's ability to meet increasing demand for customized solutions while also pushing the boundary on next-generation cell technologies.

In parallel, a new 161,500-square-foot (15,000 square meters) office is under development to support at least 1,000 persons who will work at Northvolt Labs. This is more than double the current 400-person office space.

Additionally, a new customer center will be established to serve as a space for partners, start-ups, scale-ups, and academia, to meet, collaborate, and collectively drive forward European industry players engaged in battery technologies and electrification.

This lithium-ion battery ideas incubator will be built out from the existing Northvolt Labs, an already impressive facility adjacent to the recently commissioned Revolt pilot recycling plant that will feed recycled raw materials directly into the on-site production plant.

In essence, this campus provides a microcosm of the giga-scale commercial production facilities being established by Northvolt.

"Establishing this campus is the natural next step for Northvolt in its mission to deliver world-leading battery technologies," said Northvolt Chief Development Officer Yasuo Anno. "R&D, cell design and module development, battery recycling, manufacturing process development – these fields cannot proceed in isolation. By bringing all the parts of the puzzle together, on a single campus, we will be uniquely positioned to develop battery solutions for the global battery market."

Founded in 2016 to deliver the world's greenest lithium-ion battery, Northvolt has quickly established itself as a leading European battery maker that has forged partnerships with ABB, BMW, Siemens, Volkswagen, Volvo, and others.

Thanks in large part to $27 billion worth of contracts with key partners, along with raising $6.5 billion in June, Northvolt is on track to meet its target of 150 gigawatt-hours of annual battery cell production by 2040.

"We have been producing cells at our cell industrialization facility, Northvolt Labs, for more than a year and are excited to now bring the knowledge and technology we have developed to the north and start large-scale production," Carlsson said at the time.

Soon, 1,000 people will be working in upsized and upscaled labs developing the next generations of Northvolt batteries, setting the stage for future growth of this already rapidly expanding European battery-maker.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 16 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.


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