STOCKHOLM, Oct. 7 (Reuters) – Northvolt plans to invest $ 750 million to expand its laboratory in Sweden, a senior executive said, to meet growing demand for lithium-ion batteries as automakers switch to electric.
As it aims to take on big Asian players such as CATL (300750.SZ) and LG Chem (051910.KS), Northvolt has announced that it will set up the “first R&D campus covering the entire battery ecosystem “.
Northvolt, which plans to start production this year at its Skelleftea gigafactory in Sweden, plans to build a new office in Vasteras, increase its workforce to at least 1,000 instead of 400, and create a center for customers to experiment with battery technologies and electrification.
China is currently home to around 80% of lithium-ion cell production, but with soaring demand, capacity in Europe is expected to grow rapidly and Northvolt is aiming for a 25% market share in Europe by 2030.
“The development of Vasteras is currently the funnel that will allow us to proceed with this land grab,” Northvolt chief executive Peter Carlsson told Reuters, adding that it would require him to hire around 5,000 engineers from here. five years.
“I have a slide presentation on the very early concepts… we didn’t choose Vasteras at the time but we had an initial budget of $ 80 million,” Carlsson said in an interview.
European automakers are looking to use batteries from Northvolt for their electric vehicles to compete with those from Tesla (TSLA.O), which is building its own factory in Germany.
Backed by Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Scania (SCVSA.UL), the European Commission and Spotify founder Daniel Ek, Northvolt has raised more than $ 6.5 billion, with nearly 20 billion orders from largest car manufacturers. Read more
A source said in June that its latest fundraiser valued Northvolt at $ 11.75 billion. Electric vehicles and related industries have been very attractive to investors, which have pushed up the valuations of pioneers such as Tesla and Lucid Motors.
Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Alexander Smith
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