The European gigafactory aims to mass-produce battery cells to decrease costs to below $100 per kWh.
North Volt, a new lithium-ion battery startup founded last year, will take root in Europe in the near future. The company, founded by former Tesla Supply Chain Management VP, Peter Carlsson, and partner, Paolo Cerruti, former Tesla supply chain executive, officially launched in Stockholm this week.
North Volt is looking to build a European gigafactory. Possible locations include Sweden and Finland. A group of Swedish investors will fund the venture, with a goal of bringing down lithium-ion battery costs in Europe to less than $100 per kWh. Carlsson told Breakit that the project will amount to about $4 billion U.S. He shared (translated from Swedish):
"We are six people today, but intends to create a bunch of 25 to 30 of the best engineers. We will pick a lot internationally, from the United States and Japan, but we also want the best in Sweden in the field."
"If we have a number of players who have access to the project as of now, we hope that the year ahead, when we really need to build up substantial capital to put the shovel in the ground and build a factory, have sufficient confidence in the project. It is estimated to cost 40 billion (kroner) in four steps. Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency were early supporters. "
"We have a bold and ambitious business plan in place and I am very pleased by the strong support we have received from both the public and private sector," said Peter Carlsson in a statement."When fully developed, it will be half a million square meters, give or take.There are fifty hectares - the old town of Stockholm is 34 hectares."
Carlsson takes the position of CEO of the battery startup. He worked for NXP Semiconductors prior to his four-year stint at Tesla (2011-2015). His supply chain experience, along with that of Cerutti, should prove advantageous to the new project. Cerutti will assume the position of COO for North Volt. He has prior experience in a similar capacity with Nissan and Renault.
Sweden recently made a push to attract Tesla to its turf. Perhaps North Volt is intending to beat the company to the bast location and/or real estate. Construction is set to begin in 2019, as long as details fall into place accordingly. Production at North Volt could begin as soon as 2020. But, as we have all seen with the Tesla Gigafactory, the monumental project will take years to reach full operating capacity. Carlsson's goal is to complete the gigafactory by 2023, reaching its 32 GWh potential.