June 21, 2021
Building the batteries of the future, together with Northvolt
We're teaming up with Northvolt, a leading battery firm from Sweden, to develop and produce high-quality sustainable batteries for the next generation of pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars. An all-Swedish battery powerhouse, if you will, with collaboration that contains several elements.
For example, as part of the plans we'll establish a 50/50 joint venture company, which will include an R&D centre in Sweden that is scheduled to kick off operations next year. Here, we intend to develop state-of-the-art battery cells and related technologies, to make sure that the battery technology is tailor-made and can be seamlessly integrated into those shiny new Volvos and Polestars.
"Developing the next generation of battery cell technology in-house, together with Northvolt, allows us to design batteries specifically for Volvo and Polestar drivers," explains Henrik Green, our chief technology officer. "With cells developed in-house for our electric cars we can focus on giving Volvo and Polestar customers what they want, such as range and short charging times."
But that's not all. Together with Northvolt, we also look to establish a new, Europe-based gigafactory with a potential production capacity of 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. We've yet to determine where exactly this plant will be based, but production is scheduled to start in 2026 and the plant will employ around 3,000 people. Even better: it is planned to be powered 100 per cent by clean energy!
Finally, our collaboration with Northvolt also means that from 2024, Volvo Car Group will source 15 GWh of battery cells per year from the existing Northvolt Ett battery plant in Skellefteå, Sweden. Alongside previously announced battery supply agreements, that means we've now secured the European battery cell needs that will drive our ambitious electrification plans.
"By working with Northvolt we secure a supply of the highest quality, sustainable battery cells for our pure electric cars," said Håkan Samuelsson, our chief executive. "Working closely with Northvolt also allows us to strengthen our in-house development capabilities."
Our partnership with Northvolt also supports our wider sustainability ambitions as a company. Today, the production of batteries for our fully electric cars represents a large part of the total lifecycle carbon emissions of those cars. By working with Northvolt and producing batteries near our car manufacturing plants in Europe, we can reduce the environmental footprint related to battery sourcing and production.