Meet the future of energy: Claes Lundberg

What do you do at Northvolt?

A lot of what I’ve been doing is handling equipment that comes from Japan and Korea into Västerås, where we are building Northvolt Labs, and making sure nothing goes wrong. Basically, the lead time for many of these equipments is up to a year so we need to make sure they get to Västerås on time.

I am also working with planning all the in-bound supply chain for Västerås and Skellefteå – especially for Skellefteå, or Northvolt Ett. There is not a lot of traffic going up there and many conversations need to get started and many relationships need to be built with players that are already active in the region. We also need to understand where in the world we are sourcing all these materials from and what we need to put into place for it to come to Skellefteå.

For Northvolt Ett, we are talking around 40 thousand containers per year which is a lot of material. Another part of building up that in-bound material flow is that we need to understand how much stock we need to keep in order to keep production going as planned. Much of my role is to be a link between purchasing and engineers. Engineers know how much materials we need and purchasing know where we will buy it. For Västerås it’s been the same as Skellefteå but on a much smaller scale. If you’re talking 40 thousand containers to Skellefteå, we are talking four thousand pallets to Västerås so it’s a peanut in comparison.

Why did you join Northvolt?

I want to create history and I really believe that this is a company that has a new and fresh approach to so many things. Just look at how we are building batteries to change how the world’s energy supply looks. I feel like this is a part of something new and being a part of this, I am a part of writing history. That’s what really makes me think it’s great to work for this company.

How did you hear about Northvolt?

I was studying renewable energy distribution in Australia and my professor talked about this new Swedish company that is building a large battery factory, like Tesla, and I was like, “big Swedish battery factory? I’ve never heard about that.” So then I did some research, and that was two years ago when it was still in its early stage. Even back then I was sold and I really wanted to work here.

Was there anything that surprised you when you joined?

Both yes and no. Of course, there are a lot of things that surprise me all the time and it still does. I get surprised that there is so much knowledge within this company and not only that, but also how driven and passionate people are about what they’re doing. That pulls me into it even further and it’s pretty cool. This whole project is so big when you think about it, so it feels like you find out new things all the time.

How did you get interested in this field?

It’s more or less everyone’s responsibility to do something for our future. It’s very obvious to me that we can’t continue what we’ve done in the past 100 years. Whether that is eating greener or really trying to make a change or write history, I’m really keen on doing something that makes an impact. I think this, for me, was the way to go. I majored in industrial management and I also took a lot of courses in renewable energy distribution at the Royal Institute of Technology.

What makes you tick at work?

It’s all these small things that would make a normal person stressed. It’s all these tasks that you don’t foresee happen but that you then have to solve. That’s what makes work so fun. It’s hard to see what will happen the next day and you need to be alert and, in that sense, a work day here couldn’t be boring.

You wrote your master thesis here?

Yes, but I had to work hard to do that. The field I wanted to write about, I don’t think a lot of people were out looking for that back then. I think I submitted three different proposals and met with four different Northvolt employee’s before they finally decided to take me on. There was a lot of stubbornness involved and I wasn’t willing to give up. I knew I wanted to work here. If you know what you want, it’s stupid not to strive and get it.

What else are you passionate about?

I’m very passionate about nature and being out in the woods with my dog. I like to hunt, fish, and cook, and it’s cool to see the total chain until it’s on a plate and you serve it to family and friends.