The Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Northern Sweden successfully assembled its first lithium-ion battery cell on Tuesday -- marking a milestone in the history of European battery manufacturing.
The lithium-ion battery cell is the first to have been fully designed, developed, and assembled at a gigafactory by a homegrown European battery company, Northvolt stated. The prismatic cell format came off the cell assembly line on Tuesday night post the commissioning of the gigafactory. The company has added that the commissioning and upscaling of the factory will continue through into 2022 when the first commercial customer deliveries will be made.
"Today is a great milestone for Northvolt which the team has worked very hard to achieve," said Peter Carlsson, CEO, and Co-Founder of Northvolt.
"Of course, this first cell is only the beginning. Over the course of the coming years, we look forward to Northvolt Ett expanding its production capacity greatly to enable the European transition to clean energy."
The lithium-ion battery cell was developed at Northvolt Labs, Northvolt's industrialization factory in Västerås, Sweden, which the company noted, has been in production since early 2020.
According to the company, in the coming years, production capacity at Northvolt Ett will increase towards 60 GWh per year to fulfill over $30 billion worth of contracts Northvolt has secured from key customers, including BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars, and Polestar. To these customers in the automotive, industrial, and energy storage sectors, Northvolt Ett will deliver cells of varying formats with commercial deliveries beginning in 2022.
The latest news marks a new chapter in European battery manufacturing since all the top five battery makers (CATL, LG Energy Solutions, Panasonic, BYD, and Samsung SDI) currently come from Asia -- with China leading the race, followed by South Korea and Japan. These players collectively control more than 80 percent of the overall battery market.