Swedish electric vehicle battery developer Northvolt is to build its third battery gigafactory in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. With an annual potential production capacity of 60 GWh, Northvolt Drei will deliver a supply of sustainably produced lithium-ion batteries to the European market, sufficient for around a million electric vehicles.
The region hosts the cleanest energy grid in Germany, characterised by a surplus of electricity generated by onshore and offshore wind power and reinforced by clean energy provided through grid interconnections to Denmark and Norway.
The new gigafactory increases Northvolt’s pipeline of battery manufacturing capacity under development to over 170 GWh.
Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt said, “Northvolt Drei fits well into a promising future cluster of clean technology ventures emerging in northern Germany and advances the wider European transition towards a sustainable society within which Germany plays a crucial role.”
With plans to produce its first batteries in 2025 and provide some 3,000 new jobs, a central intention of Northvolt Drei is to deliver high-performance lithium-ion batteries, produced with the lowest environmental footprint in continental Europe.
“It matters how we produce a battery cell. If you use coal in your production, you embed a fair amount of CO2 into your battery, but if we use clean energy, we can build a very sustainable product. Our philosophy is that new energy-intensive industries, such as battery manufacturing, should be established in actual geographical proximity to where the clean energy is produced,” says Peter Carlsson.
With sustainability at the forefront of design and decision-making surrounding Northvolt Drei, the factory will source significant volumes of its raw material requirements from recycled battery metals, as part of Northvolt’s commitment to source 50 percent of its raw material needs from recycling by 2030.
Alongside battery production, Northvolt Drei will target an on-site battery recycling plant which will ensure efficient reuse of by products from the production process and provide a sustainable solution for end-of-life electric vehicle batteries recovered from European markets.