Northvolt became the first European battery factory to start deliveries, causing Asian dominance.
Swedish battery maker Northvolt has become the first European company to start commercial deliveries to a carmaker last week, shaping the continent’s five-year efforts to counter Asian dominance in the supply of energy cells for electric vehicles.
The first deliveries, which came from the Northvolt plant in Skelleftea, Sweden, were made on time, a spokesman said. The company employs about 150 people a month at the factory, which currently employs about 1,000 workers, he added.
While the launch of Northvolt is a success for Europe, launching an independent battery industry, skyrocketing prices for raw materials, including lithium and cobalt, have become a concern.
For years, China has promoted closer ties with mining companies in Africa and South America, potentially exposing producers elsewhere to supply disruptions.
Northvolt, which plans to increase production for the rest of the year, recently said it has secured more than $ 50 billion in contracts from automakers, including BMW, Volkswagen Group, Volvo and Polestar.
Wigardt said the total number of employees at the Skelleftea plant is likely to reach 4,000, up from a previous estimate of 3,000.
At the same time, Volvo Cars and Northvolt battery maker will build their joint battery plant in Gothenburg, western Sweden, the two companies said.
The plant will employ up to 3,000 people and produce up to 50 gigawatt-hours of cells a year – enough to supply about half a million cars.
It will produce battery cells specially developed for use in next-generation fully-fledged Volvo and Polestar cars, Swedish-based companies said in separate statements on Friday.
Companies expect the new plant to begin operations in 2025.