Venture Capital: Swedish Battery Maker Northvolt Rolls Out Its Inaugural Li-Ion Cell

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The Northvolt battery gigafactory (pictured above) is under commissioning.

On December 28, the first lithium-ion cell to have been fully designed, developed and assembled at a gigafactory by a homegrown European battery company marked Northvolt Ett’s commencement of production at its Skellefteå facility in northern Sweden. The company is a rival to Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) battery division. (CNBC)

Over the coming years production capacity at Northvolt Ett will increase towards 60 GWh per year – enough to supply batteries for a million electric cars. Commercial deliveries will start next year as Northvolt seeks to fulfil contracts worth $30bn with big European companies including the carmakers BMW (ETR: BMW), Volkswagen (ETR: VOW3), Volvo Cars (STO: VOLV-B) and Polestar, the truck manufacturer Scania (STO: SCV.A), and the energy storage firm Fluence (NASDAQ: FLNC).

Landmark for Europe

Peter Carlsson, CEO and Co-Founder of Northvolt, said: “Today is a great milestone for Northvolt which the team has worked very hard to achieve. Of course, this first cell is only the beginning. Over the course of the coming years, we look forward to Northvolt Ett expanding its production capacity greatly to enable the European transition to clean energy.”

The battery cell was developed at Northvolt Labs, Northvolt’s industrialization factory in Västerås, Sweden, pictured below.

In June, Northvolt closed a $2.75 billion private placement co-led by new investors AP funds 1-4, via the co-owned company, 4 to 1 Investments, and OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, alongside existing investors Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Volkswagen Group (ETR: VOW3).

The round reportedly valued Northvolt at $11.75 billion, but that figure was not confirmed officially by the company.

“Green” batteries

Last month, Northvolt announced the successful production of its first battery cell made of 100% recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt at the Västerås facility.

The company said it recovered the materials from battery waste using “a low-energy hydrometallurgical treatment which involves the use of an aqueous solution to isolate the metals and separate them from impurities.”

“Following material validation, electrochemical performance testing of cells produced with recycled metals demonstrates performance on par with cells produced with freshly-mined metals,” Northvolt said.

Related Story: Swedish “Green” Battery Maker Northvolt Raises $2.75B

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