A Swedish company called NorthVolt AB are hoping to halve the cost of energy storage by building a 4 billion euro lithium-ion battery factory to rival Tesla‘s ‘gigafactory’. The Stockholm-based company is the brainchild of founder Peter Mikael Carlsson, Tesla’s former head of sourcing and supply chains.
The NorthVolt Vision
According to Bloomberg, NorthVolt are hoping to raise 1 billion euros by 2018 so they’re able to commence construction on a factory in Q3, and start production in 2020. Carlsson says NorthVolt are going to announce a shortlist of possible manufacturing sites (all based in Sweden) in a month or two. They’ve already raised 5 million kronor (~675,000 euros) from for their foray into energy storage technology.
“Europe will be a very important market for energy storage,” Carlsson told Bloomberg in a phone interview, adding: “…there is a huge need for back-up power. There is also a sizable auto industry that has made big promises to go electric.” “Coming out of this partnership round and going into a larger financing round next, we see that it will look favourable to the financial market that we have a number of customers that have already shown commitment by investing in us.”
So we can see that NorthVolt have a huge vision and Carlsson certainly has the pedigree to be able to pull it off –
Inverse report that the completed Northvolt factory will produce 32 gigawatt-hours of storage per annum – in comparison to Tesla’s Gigafactory, slated to produce 35 gigawatt-hours. Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, has been quoted as saying 35 gigawatt-hours is enough to power 1% of the entire world’s energy supply onto renewable – so it’d be amazing to have two of them up and running within the next few years. How long until the entire world is running on 100% renewable energy? Maybe not in any too-near timeframe but it isn’t that far off, either.
We’ve linked a video below which introduces Northvolt and how they plan to commence ‘Enabling the Future of Energy’ – it’s just a short primer but well worth a watch if you’re interested (and if you’ve made it to the end of this article hopefully you will be!). We look forward to reporting more about NorthVolt vs. Tesla in the future. Keeping in mind it’s not exactly a competition and we hope they both succeed.