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Northvolt battery plant sparks into life, a first for Europe

Northvolt produces first battery cell from Sweden gigafactory
Northvolt produces first battery cell from Sweden gigafactory   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By Supantha Mukherjee and Helena Soderpalm</p> <p><span class="caps">STOCKHOLM</span> -Sweden’s Northvolt said on Wednesday its new gigafactory in northern Sweden has assembled its first battery cell, making it the first European company to design and manufacture a battery on the continent.</p> <p>The cell is of a prismatic cell format – a variety of thinner and lighter battery – and came off the assembly line on Tuesday.</p> <p>Northvolt <span class="caps">CEO</span> Peter Carlsson had told Reuters that the new factory would produce a battery this year “even if it means the first battery is made on New Year’s Eve”.</p> <p>“What we did yesterday was taking a few cells through the entire cell assembly process, from start to finish, as part of the commissioning of the machinery,” a spokesman said.</p> <p>The first batteries will be kept by Northvolt for further testing and validation, and the later on as a trophy, he said. </p> <p>Commissioning and upscaling of the factory will continue into 2022, when the first commercial customer deliveries will be made, the company said in a statement.</p> <p>The factory is set in the small, industrial town of Skelleftea in Sweden’s main cluster of mines and mineral resources. </p> <p>Its history of mining, not least for gold, gave it the nickname of “Gold town”.</p> <p>The company is aiming for the Skelleftea plant to achieve production capacity of 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) as it aims for at least a 20-25% market share in Europe by 2030. </p> <p>It has received over $30 billion worth of contracts from customers such as <span class="caps">BMW</span>, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar.</p> <p>Northvolt will rival the likes of Tesla and Asian battery makers such as Panasonic, LG Chem and <span class="caps">CATL</span>.</p> </div>