Northvolt to build third gigafactory in Germany
16 March 2022
Northvolt intends to establish a battery gigafactory in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. With an annual potential production capacity of 60 GWh, Northvolt Drei will deliver a supply of sustainably produced lithium-ion batteries to the European market, sufficient for some one million electric vehicles.
The new gigafactory increases Northvolt’s pipeline of battery manufacturing capacity under development to more than 170 GWh.
Envisioned to produce its first batteries in 2025 and provide some 3,000 new jobs, a central intention of Northvolt Drei is to deliver high-performance lithium-ion batteries, produced with the lowest environmental footprint in continental Europe.
The selection of Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, is key to fulfilment of this objective. The region hosts the cleanest energy grid in Germany, one which is characterized by a surplus of electricity generated by onshore and offshore wind power and reinforced by clean energy provided through grid interconnections to Denmark and Norway.
It matters how we produce a battery cell. If you use coal in your production, you embed a fair amount of CO2 into your battery, but if we use clean energy, we can build a very sustainable product. Our philosophy is that new energy-intensive industries, such as battery manufacturing, should be established in actual geographical proximity to where the clean energy is produced.—Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO
In addition to being centrally positioned in the emerging European battery supply chain connecting Scandinavia and continental Europe, the region also provides the space required to establish a battery plant of sufficient size to leverage the economies of scale in production which are key to reducing battery costs.
Access to German industrial competence and automotive expertise will provide additional opportunities. Local manufacturing expertise of the Schleswig-Holstein region and Heide will ensure the factory is delivering batteries of the highest quality, while the factory itself will provide critical labor force experience with battery technology—an emerging cornerstone technology of the European economy.
With sustainability at the forefront of design and decision-making surrounding Northvolt Drei, the factory will source significant volumes of its raw material requirements from recycled battery metals, as part of Northvolt’s commitment to source 50% of its raw material needs from recycling by 2030.
Alongside battery production, Northvolt Drei will target an on-site battery recycling plant which will ensure efficient reuse of byproducts from the production process and provide a sustainable solution for end-of-life electric vehicle batteries recovered from European markets.
Northvolt has to date secured in excess of $50 billion worth of contracts from key customers, including BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar, to support its plans, which include establishing recycling capabilities to enable 50% of all its raw material requirements to be sourced from recycled batteries by 2030.