Siemens becomes latest partner in European lithium ion gigafactory

Siemens becomes latest partner in European lithium ion gigafactory

Siemens becomes latest partner in European lithium ion gigafactory 562 391 Energy Storage Journal


On May 25 Northvolt, the Swedish lithium ion battery firm that changed its name from SGF Energy in March 2017, announced Siemens had become its latest partner with an investment of €10 million ($12 million).

Northvolt will become the preferred supplier of lithium ion batteries to Siemens after production starts at its €4 billion, 32GWh factory, which is scheduled to begin in 2020.

Northvolt will also use the German conglomerate’s Digital Enterprise portfolio that will enable the digitization of the entire value chain — from manufacturing planning and design software to automation, including industrial communications networks and cloud solutions.

The companies are also exploring potential areas for joint development programs.

The partnership is the latest in a long line of companies joining Europe’s drive to construct a lithium ion factory that can compete with those in Asia and the Tesla factory being built in Nevada, US.

On May 23, Northvolt announced a partnership with Swedish headquartered firm Skellefteå Kraft that will allow the company to develop energy storage solutions and install a district heating system at the gigafactory.

In April, the company began construction of its Northvolt Labs, which are due to be completed in Västerås within the next two years. The research facility will be used to develop, test and industrialize lithium ion battery cells before large-scale production.

The facility is being supported by a grant of up to Skr146 million ($17 million) from the Swedish Energy Agency to build Northvolt’s demonstration line.

In February the board of directors of the European Investment Bank approved a loan for Northvolt of up to €52 million. The financing is to be supported by InnovFin — the EU Finance for Innovators’ Energy Demonstration Projects facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020.

At the beginning of the year Scania, the Swedish commercial vehicle OEM, announced it was to invest €10million in Northvolt’s demonstration line and research facility to develop and commercialise cells for heavy commercial vehicles.

Last June, the Swedish government-owned power company Vattenfall, invested Skr5 million in the project. Following the investment Vattenfall owns a minor share in Northvolt.