Siemens invests in Northvolt battery factory plans

21 June 2018

21 June 2018 German engineering company Siemens has become the latest company to contribute to the Northvolt project, aiming to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory. The company has offered its digital enterprise technology to help build the factory in northern Sweden, and the project will, in turn, become Siemen’s preferred supplier for batteries when production starts in 2020. Siemens has invested €10 million into the project, which has also received support from its rival ABB. Truck manufacturer Scania has also agreed to invest €10 million into the factory, which aims to produce 32 gigawatt-hours of battery packs a year by 2023 and become a serious European rival to Tesla’s US gigafactory. Europe’s battery cell demand is projected to reach 200-gigawatt hours by 2025, a market worth an estimated 250 billion euros annually, according to previous comments from the European Commission. ′The European industry is moving rapidly towards electrification. With its world-class expertise within electrification, automation and digitalisation, Siemens will become an important technology partner, supplier and customer to Northvolt in this coming transition. Once we begin large-scale production, our aim is to supply the greenest lithium-ion batteries in the world,’ said Peter Carlsson Co-Founder and CEO, Northvolt. To mitigate the effects of climate change, Europe is accelerating its transition to renewable energies. Electrification and an increased use of batteries is one of the cornerstones of this transition, enabling the large-scale conversion to sustainable transportation as well as a deep integration of renewable sources in the energy mix. With limited current and planned capacity in place, Europe is now facing a major battery deficit of within the next few years. Siemens sees the Northvolt initiative as a reference project for the battery production of the future, which will rely on the integration and digitisation of the entire value chain: from the design of the battery cell through production planning, engineering and production to services. ′We are happy to support Northvolt in building the battery factory of the future. With our Digital Enterprise portfolio, we contribute to a competitive battery cell production in Europe that fully exploits the benefits of software and automation: greater flexibility, efficiency and quality with shorter time to market’, said Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens Digital Factory Division. Manufacturers are pushing forward with plans to release lots of different new models onto the market as well as adding electrification to their existing line-up. EVs were a popular choice for announcements at the recent IAA motor show in Frankfurt, with a number of car makers revealing their plans.