The leading Swedish battery company will help develop the next generations of batteries of pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars.
The first key step for the 50/50 joint venture is to set up a research and development centre in Sweden that will begin operations in 2022.
Another goal of this partnership is also to establish a new gigafactory in Europe with a potential capacity of up to 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year with expected production to start in 2026.
As part of the plans, Volvo Car Group also looks to source 15 GWh of battery cells per year from the existing Northvolt Ett battery plant in Skellefteå, Sweden, starting in 2024.
A partnership with Northvolt will secure the European battery cell needs that will drive Volvo Cars’ ambitious electrification plans. In fact, as WhichEV reported, Volvo Cars aims to sell 50% pure electric cars by the middle of this decade, and by 2030 it aims to sell only fully electric cars.
Today, the production of batteries for Volvo Car Group’s fully electric cars represents a large part of the car’s total lifecycle carbon emissions. By working with Northvolt, Volvo Car Group can reduce the environmental footprint attributable to battery sourcing and production for its future cars, according to Håkan Samuelsson, Chief Executive at Volvo Car Group.
“By working with Northvolt we will secure a supply of high-quality, more sustainable battery cells for our pure electric cars,” he said. “Working closely with Northvolt will also allow us to strengthen our in-house development capabilities.”
The new gigafactory, planned to be powered by 100% clean energy, is expected to employ around 3,000 people. The location of the new plant is yet to be decided. The first car to feature battery cells developed through the joint venture will be the electric successor to Volvo Cars’ best-selling XC60 model.
The partnership with Northvolt represents an important step in the expansion of Volvo Car Group’s in-house development capabilities, coupled with partnerships with true technology leaders, according to Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt.
“Volvo Cars and Polestar are industry leaders in the transition to electrification, and perfect partners on the journey ahead as we aim to develop and produce the world’s most sustainable battery cells,” he said. “We are proud to become their exclusive battery cell production partner in Europe.”
Volvo is not the only company that will see major benefits from this partnership. In fact, it will give a further boost to Polestar’s European growth ambitions and underline its commitment to the Polestar 0 project, which aims to create a truly climate-neutral vehicle by 2030.
“Collaborating with Northvolt is an important step for our industrial network as we move towards all-out electrification by 2030,” said Javier Varela, Head of Industrial Operations and Quality at Volvo. “Batteries are one of the most important parts in a fully electric car, and by partnering with Northvolt we ensure an efficient and cost-effective supply chain of high-quality and sustainable batteries in Europe.”
As WhichEV reported, Volvo has recently also made another partnership that will help the company become the first car maker to use fossil-free steel for its own production cars.
These two recent partnerships highlight the commitment of Volvo to become one of the first manufacturers in the whole world to truly reduce its carbon footprint.