Northvolt wants to take on Tesla from its hideout in the Arctic

20th December, 2021.      //   Technology  // 

This December, Santa’s elves aren’t the only ones working around the clock in the Arctic.
You’ve arrived to the Northvolt facility.
Chief Executive Peter Carlsson is keen to start the factory, which is located about 200 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, this month.
That means he and his team of engineers and technicians are working at a rate comparable to Santa’s elves.
Carlsson aims to take on Elon Musk, his former boss, with the world’s greenest electric vehicle batteries.

The lithium-ion facility in Skelleftea, Sweden, was the first in the EU to be built by a European company.
It’s intended to serve as a springboard for a regional battery champion capable of competing not only with Tesla but also with Asian suppliers.

Sustainability, according to Carlsson, is crucial.

“And here, our sustainability approach has been very, very important because it has made everyone realize that if we don’t do this build-up in the right way, we can create a pretty significant carbon footprint in the development of this industry; but if we’re a little bit careful and a little bit smart on how we build this industry, we can help solve two problems: we can build a new industry with a very low carbon footprint, and we can reduce oil out of transportation and manufacturing.”

The town of Skelleftea is ideal.

It is primarily powered by hydropower and wind, and all of the plant’s energy will be renewable.
However, it’s a cold, isolated location that’s also dark in the winter.
With a global competition for talent, including Tesla’s new Berlin plant, attracting engineers could be difficult.
Despite this, Northvolt has received more than $6.5 billion in finance and expects to build enough batteries in the factory to power over 1 million electric vehicles every year. In the next ten years, Carlsson plans to open at least two more factories.

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