Battery manufacturer Northvolt plans to invest $750 million to expand its laboratory facility in Sweden in order to meet soaring demand for lithium-ion batteries. Northvolt says it plans to set up the “first R&D campus covering the entire battery ecosystem.”
The order of the day in Europe is to quickly expand domestic battery capacity to try to wrest at least part of the market from giant Asian players such as CATL, LG Chem and Panasonic. Northvolt has set a target of a 25% market share in Europe by 2030.
Northvolt plans to start production this year at its gigafactory in Skelleftea, Sweden. It will also build a new office in Vasteras, increase headcount there from 400 to 1,000, and create a center for customers to experiment with battery technologies and electrification. Northvolt Chief Executive Peter Carlsson told Reuters that the company’s growth plans call for it to hire around 5,000 engineers within the next 5 years.
Backed by European carmakers, including Volkswagen and Scania, as well as the European Commission, Northvolt has raised funding of more than $6.5 billion, and says it has booked nearly $20 billion in orders from major OEMs. A source told Reuters in June that the latest round of fundraising had valued the company at $11.75 billion.