Volvo Cars and Northvolt will open a joint research and development centre in Sweden’s second city Gothenburg to aid in battery development and manufacturing.
Volvo says the new facility, which comes as part of a SEK 30 billion (US$ 3.3 bn) investment, will position it as one of the few automotive brands to make battery cell development and production part of its end-to-end engineering capabilities.
“Our partnership with Northvolt secures the supply of high-quality, sustainably-produced batteries for the next generation of pure electric Volvos,” says Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive for Volvo Cars. “It will strengthen our core competencies and our position in the transformation to a fully electric car company.”
The partnership will focus on developing batteries specifically for Volvo’s cars, emphasising long ranges and quick charging times. Northvolt, which specialises in sustainable battery cells and systems, will help Volvo “create a true end-to-end system” for batteries with the automaker developing and building its batteries in-house, rather than outsourcing them to a specialist supplier.
“Volvo Cars is an excellent partner on the road towards building up a supply of battery cells that are made in Europe with a very low carbon footprint, and that are optimised through vehicle integration to get the best performance out of the next-generation EVs,” says Peter Carlsson, chief executive for Northvolt.
The two companies are also in the final stage of selecting the location for their joint battery plant in Eutopre. This plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of up to 50 GWh – enough batteries for around half a million cars per year.
Construction on this site is expected to begin in 2023, with large scale production starting three years later. Up to 3,000 people will be employed at the plant.
Volvo has pledged to sell 50% pure electric cars by 2025 and to be solely electric by 2030.