Swedish battery cell manufacturer Northvolt is investing US $ 750 million to expand its Northvolt Labs research center in Västerås. The site will be expanded to include a campus with a new research and development center, customer center and offices.

The construction of the Northvolt Labs research center dates back to 2018, and since then Västerås has housed a pilot cell production plant, test facilities and a pilot recycling plant. The latter entered service in 2020 in response to Northvolt’s planned foray into the recycling business. From now on, a new campus for battery technologies must be connected to this site. The first new facility is already under construction: a research and development center that will allow the development of new materials and products for battery cells. At the same time, a new 15,000 square meter office will be built to increase Northvolt Labs’ workforce from the current 400 to at least 1,000.

In addition, Northvolt envisions a new on-site customer center “where partners, startups, scale-ups and academic institutions can meet, collaborate and jointly advance European industry in battery technology and electrification” . The Swedish company’s customers include Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and BMW. Northvolt estimates that the total investment for the extensions will be $ 750 million (just under € 650 million).

“Today there is an irreversible dynamic around the switch to battery-powered electric solutions. Northvolt Labs is being expanded to capitalize on this – to accelerate the transition to safe and sustainable battery solutions, ”said Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt. “By establishing a campus where industrial players can engage, surrounded by all the necessary facilities, we are convinced that we can create the necessary foundations for Europe to emerge as the leading region for a technology that is at the heart of the race for decarbonization. “

With the new R&D center, Northvolt aims to better position itself to meet the growing demand for customized solutions while pushing the boundaries of next-generation cellular technologies. One of the objectives will be to create platforms for the research and industrialization of materials and cells. The integration of the facility into the campus and the existing laboratory infrastructure will create “a toolbox covering the full spectrum of value chain activities related to the design, development and lifecycle of lithium batteries. ion – from active materials and cell design to battery systems and recycling, ”the company writes.

“The creation of this campus is the natural next step for Northvolt in its quest to develop cutting-edge battery technologies,” said Yasuo Anno, Director of Development for Northvolt. “R&D, cell design and module development, battery recycling, manufacturing process development – these areas cannot work in isolation. By bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together on one campus, we will be in a unique position to develop battery solutions for the global battery market.

Västerås, with a population of over 100,000, is located west of Stockholm. While Northvolt focuses its research and development in Västerås, the company’s battery cell factory, called Northvolt Ett, is located in Skellefteå in northern Sweden. The battery cell factory is also known as Volkswagen Group’s Gigafactory 1. Although Northvolt operates the plant itself, the planned premium cells, whose cathodes will have a high nickel content, are mainly intended for the subsidiaries of Volkswagen Audi and Porsche. Other factories are planned, including one in cooperation with Volvo Cars.

According to summer media reports, Northvolt is targeting an IPO for the capital-intensive development of cell production. Recently, the start-up has already carried out several capital increases, which testify to the great interest of investors. In June, Volkswagen announced that it had invested an additional $ 620 million (around € 500 million) in its battery partner. Volkswagen’s latest investment was part of a new round of financing totaling US $ 2.75 billion (around € 2.3 billion) for the Swedish battery maker.

northvolt.com

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