Volvo-Northvolt joint venture battery plant due in 2025, could supply for 500,000 EVs annually

Volvo and Swedish battery firm Northvolt on Friday announced a new battery plant, near the automaker’s main assembly plant in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Scheduled to open in 2025, the joint-venture plant will have a “potential” annual battery cell production capacity of up to 50 gigawatt-hours, which would be enough for 500,000 EVs annually, Volvo said in a press release.

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge

Adrian Clarke, a former Tesla executive previously linked with the American automaker’s new factory near Berlin, will run the joint venture factory, which is scheduled to start construction in 2023. Between the factory and a jointly-operated R&D center at the site, Volvo expects to create 3,000 new jobs.

The plant will use only renewable energy will be operated based on so-called circular economic principles, with a focus on minimizing waste and reusing materials where possible, Volvo said. The automaker said in 2021 that it will make its South Carolina assembly plant all-electric before others—even factories in China.

The release said the Gothenburg battery plant will produce cells “specifically developed for use in next generation pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars.” But the factory will be located adjacent to Volvo’s “home” plant, which doesn’t build Polestar cars. The spinoff brand uses a Chinese factory—or, starting as soon as later this year, one in South Carolina.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Volvo and Polestar are each developing their own electric motors, but perhaps this means they might share battery cell resources.

The Polestar 2 does share the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform with the Volvo XC40 Recharge, but with a different body style, greater emphasis on sporty driving, and more limited production.

The XC40 Recharge is already being delivered in the U.S., and the C40 Recharge is coming soon. Volvo aims for every car it sells to be fully electric by 2030.

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