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Europe’s Nortvolt battery gigafactory lands in Sweden

Two former Tesla executives broke out on their own to build a battery gigafactory in Europe. After launching their fundraising effort and partnering with ABB, they now announced the location of the factory in Sweden.

They were considering several locations in Europe, but they have now landed on two Swedish municipalities: Skellefteå, where the factory will be located, and Västerås, a city in central Sweden near Stockholm where they will build a research and development center.

Northvolt explains its logic behind the two locations in a press release today:

Skellefteå is part of a raw material and mining cluster in the north of Sweden and has a long history of process manufacturing and recycling. Skellefteå will be the location of Northvolt’s first large-scale lithium-ion battery factory and will serve as the main production site, which includes active material preparation, cell assembly, recycling and auxiliaries. The factory will employ 2,000-2,500 people.

Västerås has a strong standing within energy and electrification. It is home to several multinational companies, including ABB, with world class engineering and R&D competence in electrification and process optimization. Northvolt will establish its R&D facility in Västerås, including a demonstration line which will be used to qualify and industrialize products and processes. The Västerås operations will employ 300-400 people.

Västerås makes sense following what seems to be an important partnership with ABB to build the factory.

As we previously reported, Northvolt plans to build a demonstration-line with ABB to be ready by 2019. The factory is expected to start production in 2020, at which point they target a capacity of 8 GWh per year and they aim for 32 GWh of capacity once the entire factory will be completed in 2023.

It would make it the biggest li-ion battery factory in Europe and comparable in size to the first phase of Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, a project that Peter Carlsson, Founder and CEO of Northvolt, and Paolo Cerruti, COO of Nortvolt, both worked on.

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