While the production of battery cells for electric cars is largely dominated by Asian players, Sweden’s Northvolt is delivering the first batteries from a European supplier.
While many projects have been launched in Europe, the production of batteries for electric and hybrid cars remains the prerogative of Chinese and South Korean players.
Among them, some were already producing on the Old Continent, but no European company was among the manufacturers of battery cells. It is now done with the Swedish Northvolt, which has delivered its first cells for electric cars, reports Automotive News Europewith production beginning last December.
It is not known to whom the first batteries produced by Northvolt, which counts among its partners BMW, Volkswagen, Scania, Volvo or Polestar, were delivered.
Soon three gigafactories for a production capacity of more than 170 GWh/year
They were produced at the Northvolt Ett plant in Skellefteå, northern Sweden, which aims for a production capacity of 24 GWh/year in 2024 and 60 GWh/year eventually. Two other gigafactory projects (battery factories) have been announced, in Sweden and Germany, for an expected total production capacity of more than 170 GWh/year in the long term. By way of comparison, the rapidly growing global market for electric car batteries stood at 296.8 GWh in 2021 (source: SNE Research).
At the same time, Northvolt announced that it has started its battery recycling activities at its Hydrovolt plant (joint venture with Hydro) in Fredrikstad, Norway.
Finally, it is important to note that the difficult context of the supply of raw materials is particularly reflected in the batteries of electric cars. The prices of lithium, cobalt and nickel are on the rise. If prices stay at this level, the cost of producing battery packs could rise by 15%, warns theInternational Energy Agency.
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