Scania, the truck manufacturing firm owned by VW Group, will be investing €10 million into Northvolt’s new electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Sweden, the company has revealed.
That facility is of course not slated to open for a fair while, but once it does, it’s expected to be the largest battery cell production plant in Europe (presuming that someone else doesn’t get there first).
Also notable here is that, as total development costs for the facility are expected to run around €4 billion, the €10 million investment by Scania is a very minor one. That said, the news was accompanied by the announcement that Northvolt and Scania would be developing and commercializing battery cell tech for heavy commercial vehicles together.
Scania’s investment will apparently be used to create a demonstration production line and research facility for Northvolt in Skelleftea (Sweden).
Reuters provides more: “The firms have also struck a deal for future purchases of battery cells, their joint statement said. … Sweden’s Northvolt, whose CEO Peter Carlsson used to work for Tesla, is racing against rivals such as South Korea’s LG Chem to set up large-scale battery cell plants across Europe, where automakers and industrial firms have so far been largely reliant on Asian imports.”
As a reminder, Carlsson was VP of Supply Chain for Tesla from June 2011 to October 2015. It popped onto the scene last year with the aim of filling a void in the key EV battery production space.
“Northvolt’s Carlsson wants the Skelleftea plant to rival US electric carmaker Tesla’s Gigafactory in the Nevada desert, and aims to produce a total battery storage capacity of 32 gigawatt-hours (GWh) a year by 2023. Northvolt’s immediate aim is to build a separate demonstration line in the Swedish town of Vasteras.
“Carlsson told Reuters he expected to secure initial financing of €80-100 million for that project during the first quarter before embarking on the far larger fund-raising for the Skelleftea plant.”
So to elaborate on that, despite various high-level announcements late last year, Northvolt has yet raise the majority of the funding needed to finance the planned Skelleftea facility.
The CEO of Scania, Henrik Henriksson, commented on the news by stating that he was hopeful that the first batteries from the partnership would see use in Scania trucks by as soon as 2019.