The two partners previously decided to build in Gothenburg a joint research and development (R&D) center. Considering that there is Volvo Cars’ largest car plant in the area, the selection of Gothenburg also for the battery plant is the next logical step.
"The Swedish location of the plant, which will be built in Torslanda, Gothenburg, offers benefits in terms of a direct route into Volvo Cars’ largest car plant, access to infrastructure, a strong pipeline of renewable energy supply and relevant job competences, as well as its proximity to both Volvo Cars’ and Northvolt’s R&D units."
The R&D facility will become operational in 2022, with a few hundred jobs. The construction of the battery gigafactory will start in 2023, while production of jointly developed battery cells will start in 2025 (volume production in 2026). An interesting thing is that a former Tesla executive Adrian Clarke has been appointed to lead the production company (Northvolt CEO Peter Carlsson also is a former Tesla exec).
As previously hinted, the potential manufacturing capacity will be 50 GWh per year. According to Volvo, it should be enough for roughly 500,000 cars. That's a clear indication of 100 kWh battery packs.
The two partners have shown an example image of a prismatic battery cell with a Northvolt and Volvo logo. Volvo Cars intend to be engaged in battery cell development and production. Previously the company announced also in-house electric motor production.
The cells from the plant will be used in next-generation Volvo as well as in Polestar electric cars.
"...state-of-the-art battery cells, specifically developed for use in next-generation pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars."
"The partnership between Volvo Cars and Northvolt will focus on developing tailor-made batteries and vehicle integration concepts that give Volvo and Polestar drivers what they want, such as long range and quick charging times."
Volvo Cars and Northvolt battery gigafactory in brief:
- Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
- Construction: start in 2023
- Production: start in 2025, volume in 2026
- Capacity: potential of up to 50 GWh/year
- Jobs: up to 3,000
- Application: Volvo and Polestar cars
- Local R&D site to be ready in 2022 (a few hundred jobs)
- a total of 30 billion SEK (€2.9 billion/$3.3 billion) investment in R&D and gigafactory
By 2030, Volvo aims to produce and sell only fully electric cars. Polestar already is fully electric (excluding the initial and very limited Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid).
In June 2021, Volvo placed an initial order for 15 GWh of Northvolt battery cells per year, starting in 2024. Those cells, at least initially, will come from Northvolt's primary plant.
Northvolt produced its very first battery cell at its Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå, northern Sweden, in the final days of 2021. This plant will have a manufacturing capacity of up to 60 GWh/year. Volkswagen Group holds about a 20% stake in Northvolt.
Northvolt has also a battery recycling program, Revolt, at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden. The company plans to build the Revolt Ett, a giga-scale recycling plant, adjacent to Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå, Sweden. Construction will start in Q1 2022.