Volvo Cars will be opening a joint research and development centre with Swedish battery developer and manufacturer Northvolt in Gothenburg, Sweden as part of a SEK 30 billion (RM 13.9 billion) investment into battery development and manufacturing, the automaker said in a statement.
This research and development centre will be located close to Volvo’s own R&D operations, as well as to the existing Northvolt Labs campus in Västerås, Sweden to ensure the best synergies and efficiencies for the development of upcoming battery technologies, said Volvo.
The battery research and development centre is set to become operational in 2022 and will create “a few hundred” jobs in Gothenburg, and will make Volvo one of the few automotive brands to have battery cell development and production integrated into its end-to-end engineering capabilities, the automaker said.
This follows the Swedish automaker’s announcement in July that it will be focusing on the development of battery cell technology, in particular for the improvement of lithium-ion batteries that will have a level of energy density nearly on par with that of solid-state batteries.
The signing of a binding agreement between Volvo and Northvolt follows an announcement of the partnership earlier this year, and the establishment of the battery R&D centre in Gothenburg will be followed by the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Europe, says Volvo; the exact location of this manufacturing plant is expected to be confirmed early next year, it said.
“Our partnership with Northvolt secures the supply of high-quality, sustainably-produced batteries for the next generation of pure electric Volvos. It will strengthen our core competencies and our position in the transformation to a fully electric car company,” said Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson.
The joint battery plant will have a potential annual capacity of up to 50 GWh, or equivalent to the supply for 500,000 cars a year. Construction of the battery manufacturing plant will commence in 2023 with large-scale production from 2026, and this is expected to employ up to 3,000 people.
“Volvo Cars is an excellent partner on the road towards building up a supply of battery cells that are made in Europe with a very low carbon footprint, and that are optimized through vehicle integration to get the best performance out of the next-generation electric vehicles,” said Northvolt CEO Peter Carlsson.
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