Online and producing lithium-ion cells, the arrival of Northvolt Labs onto the European industrial scene couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Forecasts for industrial demand for Li-ion batteries have rocketed since the start of construction of Northvolt Labs in spring 2018, and it is clear that battery technologies stand as the surest way to a sustainable energy future. In every way, Northvolt Labs exists to accelerate this future.
Today’s outlook on battery demand reinforces the rationale for establishing Northvolt Labs. For Europe to assure its leadership in traditional industries of automotive engineering, and moreover to take a lead on sustainable energy technologies, securing domestic Li-ion battery manufacturing competences is key.
Out to 2025, demand for Li-ion batteries is expected to grow some 30% annually, with nearly half of all batteries going to support emerging electric vehicle markets. A substantial proportion of remaining demand, around one quarter, stems from the promising electric bus sector which is also just beginning to gain traction.
For multiple industrial sectors, and the European automotive community especially, Northvolt Labs is positioned to play a pivotal role.
Not built for high volume manufacturing, Northvolt Labs will instead facilitate the critical task of developing and maturing battery cells that provide the bedrock technology of new energy systems and products. The facility will produce cells according to chemistries and designs developed by Northvolt and deliver these to customers for validation. This model will ensure cell designs and manufacturing processes are optimized to meet requirements of end applications, be them electric vehicles or battery energy storage systems. For more insight, see, The Opportunity of Northvolt Labs.
Going forward, Northvolt Labs will be ramping up production of battery cells and delivering cells to key customers through 2020. As the facility establishes its foothold, it will be play host to the cutting edge of European electrification technology stakeholders. At the same time, the area immediately surrounding Northvolt Labs is pitched to give rise to a complete ecosystem of interrelated industrial competencies. The first physical presence of this vision, a pilot battery recycling plant, will be established at Northvolt Labs later this year.