Gigafactory developer Northvolt Ett has assembled the first lithium-ion cell to have been fully designed, developed and assembled by a homegrown European battery company.
The first cell represents a milestone for Northvolt, which aims to begin commercial delivery of cells of varying formats this year.
Marking a step-change in Europe’s battery industry, the prismatic cell came off the cell assembly line on the 28 December following the commissioning of Northvolt Ett’s gigafactory in Skellefteå, Sweden.
Commissioning and upscaling of the factory will continue through into 2022, when the first commercial customer deliveries will be made.
Peter Carlsson, CEO and co-founder of Northvolt, said: “Of course, this first cell is only the beginning. Over the course of the coming years, we look forward to expanding production capacity greatly.”
The battery cell was developed at Northvolt Labs, Northvolt’s industrialisation factory in Sweden, which has been in production since early 2020.
Northvolt plans to increase capacity to 60GWh per year to fulfil more than $30 billion worth of contracts it has secured from customers, including: BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar.
100% recycled NMC cathode
On 12 December, Northvolt announced the production of its first lithium-ion battery cell featuring a nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode made entirely with metals recovered from battery waste.
Recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt metals used in the battery cell were recovered through a low-energy hydrometallurgical treatment that involves the use of an aqueous solution to isolate the metals and separate them from impurities.
Northvolt claim the process can recover up to 95% of the metals in a battery to a level of purity and performance on par with virgin material.