sweden Vattenfall is investing five million kronor in the Northvolt AB project company, which plans to build Europe's largest lithium battery factory in Sweden.

The founder of Northvolt, Peter Carlsson, has previously worked as logistics manager in the American EV manufacturer Tesla. The company will focus on the production of batteries for the transport sector and energy storage. Production is expected to start during the second half of 2018, reaching volume production by the end of 2020.

Vattenfall's Head of Strategy Andreas Regnell explains why Vattenfall is involved in the project.

"We have a clear-cut strategy of supporting the energy transition and climate-smart solutions. This is the most interesting and largest battery project in Europe. But it isn't as if Vattenfall is simply going in and buying a battery factory. We are investing five million kronor in something that should rather be seen as a business development project from our point of view."

What do you mean?
"We know that batteries and electricity storage will play an important part in the transition to fossil-free energy. Through our involvement, we will learn a lot, and what we learn may give rise to new business for us. Batteries are growing in significance, mainly within the transport sector, but also in the energy system at large, as the demand for energy storage increases."

How does this benefit Vattenfall?
"If the battery factory becomes a reality, it will mean halving the cost of batteries for EVs, making electric cars more competitive from a cost perspective. If the number of electric cars increases, the value of the InCharge charging network we are currently rolling out will also increase.

"Another benefit is that the factory requires 300 megawatts of electricity to produce the batteries. This is a substantial level of electricity consumption which would also be beneficial to Vattenfall."

Peter Carlsson, CEO at Northvolt, is positive:

"Of course, it's enormously important that one of the largest power companies in the Nordic region is involved, and is investing in Northvolt's plan to construct Europe's largest battery factory. Our investment aims to enable the fossil-free energy systems of the future. We are very happy that Vattenfall wants to join us on this journey and we believe it is a win-win situation for society as a whole," Carlsson says.

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