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Former Tesla executives plan their own Gigafactory in Europe to bring battery cost down below $100/kwh

Tesla’s former Vice President of Supply Chain Management, Peter Carlsson, has officially launched his new startup called North Volt along with another former Tesla supply chain executive, Paolo Cerruti, and financed by Swedish investors.

The executives plan to build their own Gigafactory for li-ion batteries in Europe – possibly Sweden or Finland. They have the ambitious goal to bring down the cost of batteries below $100/kWh.

They reportedly launched the company at an event in Stockholm yesterday.

Carlsson said about the new project (via Breakit – Swedish)

“We have a number of players who have access to the project as of now. We hope to build sufficient confidence in the project over the next year, when we really need to build up substantial capital to put the shovel in the ground and build a factory. It is estimated to cost 40 billion kroner in four steps. Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency were early supporters.”

That’s about $4 billion USD and therefore, it will undoubtedly have a capacity calculated in gigawatt-hours.

While the company officially launched this week, it was founded last year after Carlsson and Cerruti left Tesla.

They are both highly experienced executives, but their experience at Tesla over the last few years is probably the most relevant to this new startup since they were in charge of the supply chain and the idea behind the Gigafactory is basically the management of the supply chain of batteries.

Carlsson, who is now CEO at North Volt, joined Tesla from NXP Semiconductors in 2011 and left in 2015. He was the global head of sourcing and supply chain. Working under him for a while, Cerruti was in charge of supply chain operation planning. He became COO at North Volt after he left Tesla in February in 2016.

He held similar positions at Renault and Nissan prior to joining Tesla in 2012.

Since Tesla confirmed that it plans to build a Gigafactory in Europe, the Swedish government has expressed interest in attracting the company, but North Volt is also getting local support according to the company.

They are planning to secure financing and the location throughout the next 2 years in order to start construction in 2019. If all goes according to plan, production would start in 2020 and ramp up to ~32 GWh at full production in 2023.

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