This Week in Batteries – Week 25

Welcome to this week’s battery roundup. The most important news surrounding battery technology and production from Europe and beyond.

Northvolt and Volvo Car Group to Establish Joint Venture

Automaker Volvo Car Group and battery manufacturer Northvolt plan to develop and manufacture battery cells together. The Swedish companies want to establish a 50/50 joint venture by 2022. Polestar and Volvo cars are to be supplied with the battery cells.

Nortvont and Volvo Car Group will start producing European batteries in 2026. Credit: Northvolt

The companies will build a 50 GWh battery factory somewhere in Europe, which is to start operations in 2026. By 2024, Volvo will already be sourcing battery cells from the Northvolt Ett factory in northern Sweden.

Porsche and CUSTOMCELLS Join Forces on High-Performance Batteries

Porsche AG and the German battery manufacturer CUSTOMCELLS want to produce battery cells in the future. The plant will most likely be set up in Tübingen in southern Germany. To this end, the companies have founded the joint venture Cellforce Group GmbH, in which Porsche holds a stake of around 84%. The company invested a double-digit million sum for this purpose. The capacity of 100MW will be sufficient for about 1000 cars per year. The federal state and the German government support the project with subsidies of around €60 million.

“With the founding of Cellforce today, Porsche and CUSTOMCELLS are sending an important signal: electrification is one of the central pillars of the energy and transport transition and modern storage technologies are a key technology of the future.”

Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of Baden-Württemberg

Varta Names Porsche as a Customer for its V4Drive Batteries

In response to an inquiry from the German newspaper Handelsblatt, battery manufacturer Varta AG has announced Porsche as its first customer for its automotive battery cells. The German company presented its high-performance round cell V4Drive in the 21700 format earlier this year.

Varta’s battery cell for automotive applications. Credit: Varta AG

The cell is said to be rechargeable in just 6 minutes. In May, Varta had announced to have found a buyer for its new product. Porsche has yet to comment on the cooperation.

European Commission Reiterates the Importance of Sourcing Raw Materials Locally

Following the recent joint statement by the European Commission and Canada on their cooperation in the field of raw materials, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, reiterated at the European Raw Materials Alliance Summit that the current way of sourcing lithium is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable. As concrete problems, he named the dependence on China, little production in the EU, and lack of regulations for sustainable use of raw materials. The battery value chain is already further along, he stated. The first task of ERMA, which was founded last year, will be to increase the share of materials sourced from Europe from almost 0% to 20%. It was not made clear how high the share will be for lithium. Nevertheless, the battery material was explicitly mentioned in Brenton’s speech:

In the EU action plan, we call on Member States and regions to identify critical raw material mining, processing and waste valorisation projects that can be operational by 2025. This includes critical raw materials, rare earths, battery anode materials like natural graphite as well as cathode materials such as lithium.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market

To find out more about European lithium, you can take a look at my article.

This is not a complete list of news from this week but the press releases and articles I found the most interesting. Let me know if I missed anything important.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@BatteryBayEU), where I post some of the news before they end up in my weekly roundup. I’m looking forward to learning about your involvement or interest in the industry and chatting about everything batteries.

Also, please feel free to use the comment section below to leave any feedback or suggestions!

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