Swedish battery company Northvolt announces the arrival of a new gigafactory. It will be located in Germany and is expected to produce lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles for the European market from 2025. The annual production capacity is 60GWh.
Northvolt’s new gigafactory will be located in Heide, in the northernmost German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The plant, called Northvolt Drei, will create around 3,000 new jobs and will supply batteries based on an annual production capacity of 60GWh. According to the company, the latter accounts for about a million electric vehicles. With that capacity, Northvolt’s total European battery production capacity should eventually come to a total of 170GWh.
In addition to regular battery production, a battery recycling plant will also be built on the Northvolt Drei site. According to the company, the plant will obtain “significant volumes” of the materials needed for battery production from recycled battery metals. That’s part of Northvolt’s plan to get 50 percent of its needed materials from recycling by 2030.
In November last year, the company produced the first fully recycled battery cell with 100 percent recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt. These are the materials that make up the commonly used NMC cathodes. Ultimately, the company aims to recycle 125,000 tons of batteries, which would be roughly good for battery production with a total capacity of 30GWh per year. In addition to recycling manganese, nickel and cobalt, Northvolt also mentions recycling lithium. The company also says it focuses on recovering copper, aluminum and plastics from the batteries and materials that are recycled by Northvolt.
The Swedish company says it has not only chosen Heide because of the large amount of clean energy available in the form of German wind energy and the connections to the power grids of Denmark and Norway. Northvolt says this location is central to the supply chain, out of Central Europe and Scandinavia. This location also offers the necessary space for the factory and opportunities are mentioned that arise from the German industrial knowledge and the German expertise in the field of cars.
Northvolt works together with car manufacturers such as Volvo, BMW, Volkswagen and truck manufacturer Scania. Volkswagen has a 20 percent stake in Northvolt. Northvolt already has agreements with car manufacturers to supply lithium ion batteries. At the end of last year, the company claimed to have made the first battery cell developed entirely in Europe.