VW And BMW Invest In Europe’s Largest Lithium-Ion Battery Plant

Volkswagen and BMW have both invested in what will be Europe’s largest gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries.

Northvolt, the company behind the factory, revealed on Wednesday that it has raised $1 billion in equity capital to establish the battery facility in Skellefteå, Sweden, and also intends to build a second gigafactory in Lower Saxony, Germany.

“Today is not only a great milestone for Northvolt, it also marks a key moment for Europe that clearly shows that we are ready to compete in the coming wave of electrification, and that we will do so using battery cells which carry the lowest CO2 footprint possible,” co-founder and chief executive of Northvolt Peter Carlsson said.

Also Read: Tesla And Panasonic Freeze Plans To Extend Gigafactory 1 In Nevada

Construction at the Swedish facility will start in August before large-scale battery production commences in 2021. The factory will initially have 16 GWh of lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing capacity. To put that into perspective, Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 had a capacity of approximately 20 GWh throughout 2018 and will grow in the coming years. Northvolt’s plant will be expanded to at least 32 GWh.

Volkswagen is laying the groundwork at all levels for the successful implementation of its electrification strategy,” member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management responsible for procurement, Dr. Stefan Sommer said. “With Northvolt, we have found a European partner whose know-how and sustainable, CO2 optimized battery cell production processes will enable us to advance cell production here in Germany. The prerequisite for this is, of course, the creation of the political framework.”

The aforementioned German gigafactory will come together thanks to a 50/50 joint venture between VW and Northvolt and will start making battery cells for the former from late 2023 or early 2024.

  • Bart

    I know that Tesla-killer is being announced every two days, but since Gigafactory was always described as a crucial advantage for Tesla, and now this advantage appears to be nullified – well, if I were Tesla investor, I’d be slightly worried.

    …,and that of course makes me a short seller! 😉 So sorry, Elon.

    • Have fun with that. The Gigafactory was bigger in 2018 and they continue to extend it. Where is the advantage disappearing exactly?

      • Bart

        It’s not about which one is bigger. Tesla’s advantage was that an exclusive access to the batteries factory made them independent of 3rd party suppliers. This so called vertical integration allows Tesla to pull the costs down and having finer control on the batteries specs, delivery rates, and so on.

        At one point that dependency on Gigafactory/Panasonic was a bottleneck, but in longer term it proved itself. Precisely, when both Mercedes and Audi had to delay the premieres of their BEV-s because they couldn’t get enough batteries, and at the desired prices from external suppliers.

        Now, it seems that now both VAG and BMW will not have that problem.

        Also worth noting is a fact that German politics (Angela Merkel included) were urging their manufacturers to build their own batteries for a long time. Dependency on Asian companies was considered a huge risk for the entire industry.

    • JqC

      Oh right… of course. You are correct. In the same way that when the first plants for internal combustion engines got competitors back in the beginning of the 20th cen, the the owners of the first plants went bankrupt. Let me ask you a question. You do realise, do you, that the rate of car production worldwide per year is 70 million, right? You do realise that the current availability of battery cell production does not even meet the current demand for EVs which is in the embryonic stage of EV production and sales? If I were you, I’d spend a bit more time researching before you go put your money into options and lose your shirt. You need to think harder. And quickly, before you bankrupt yourself. Never bet against innovation.

      • Bart

        …and your point is?

        • JqC

          I dunno anymore. I’m tired.

  • kenda

    One yr earlier I decided to discontinue my past job and I am too happy these days…. I started working on the web, for a firm I noticed over the internet, only a few hour or so each day, and I make more than I actually did on my office job… My pay-check for prior month was 9,000 bucks… The best thing on this is the more free moments I managed to get for my little kids…and that the only requirement for this job is basic typing and also having access to internet… I am able to spend quality time with my close relatives or buddies and also take good care of my little kids and also going on holiday vacation with them very consistently. Don’t skip this opportunity and make sure to act fast. Give it a look, what it’s about… SPORESCARE.INT.PS

  • Bart

    Maybe, but this is the way to paint every bad news for Tesla as a good news, which I’m not exactly buying. If Tesla were not having fundamental manufacturing and logistics problems I’d say: bring it on, y’all ol’ lazy auto makers! But they (Tesla) do have those fundamental problems; they are not ready for a mass adoption of their cars themselves.

  • JqC

    Guys, there’s room for more than one gigafactory, more than one EV manufacturer, more than one car company. Jesus. What’s with the zero-summing inherent in humans these days?!

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