It's called keeping things in-house.
Pre-empting high demand for its electrified products such as the XC40 Recharge, Volvo, together with its technical partner Northvolt, is getting started on an expansive battery production plant in Gothenburg, Sweden. The facility will be up and running by 2025 and is set to create 3,000 jobs for the region. Beyond this, it will support a planned research and development center which both companies announced last year.
This move signifies the strengthening relationship between Volvo and Northvolt as the two companies set on a campaign to create a fully electric production line-up for the entire group, including Polestar. This plant is set to maintain an annual cell production capacity of up to 50-gigawatt hours which is enough batteries to supply 500,000 cars.
The location of this plant is strategic as it benefits from a direct route to Volvo and Northvolt's facilities in the same region. From here, it will also have access to key pieces of infrastructure, renewable energy, and suppliers. These two companies have gotten into this partnership because they both want to achieve the goal of sustainable production. Reflecting on this, the new plant will be designed with clean energy in mind.
As is the case with many electric car manufacturers, the battery production process takes a large slice of each vehicle's lifecycle carbon emission pie. Volvo and Northvolt will use this collaboration as an opportunity to reduce this footprint through clean modern innovations. Javier Varela, Head of Engineering and Operations at Volvo Cars explains, "Our new battery plant will support our ambition to have a fully climate-neutral manufacturing network and secure a supply of high-quality batteries for years to come."
Before the production front begins, the research and development center will be running by sometime this year. Cell production is expected to be a monumental contribution to the region's industry with the venture being earmarked as one of the biggest cell production units in Europe. Former Tesla executive Adrian Clarke is expected to take the helm of the new facility and oversee the implementation of tailor-made batteries and vehicle integration concepts for both Volvo and Polestar.
Hakan Samuelsson, the soon-to-be-replaced Chief Executive of Volvo says, "Our battery cell partnership with Northvolt is key to our strategic ambitions in electrification. We are committed to becoming a leader in the premium electric car segment and selling only pure electric vehicles by 2030." With this venture, the Swedish giant wants to lower the cost and carbon footprint of electric cars through smooth and sustainable battery production.