The European Investment Bank (EIB) is investing $ 350 million (nearly 300 million euros) in a Swedish giga factory that makes lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, among others. The EIB announced this on Wednesday.
It is the first such factory in Europe to be set up by a European company. The Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt is the initiator of the factory that is currently being built in Skelleftea, Northern Sweden. The company chose this location because the necessary raw materials are available in that region.
The EIB’s money is not a grant, but a loan. The investment bank wants to use the financial support to promote sustainability and to ensure that Europe is at the forefront of battery production.
The factory is scheduled to open in 2021. It will have the capacity to make 16 gigawatt hours (GWh) of lithium-ion batteries annually. At a later stage, the capacity must be increased to 40 GWh per year.
Northvolt previously built a smaller demo factory, where the production of batteries started last year. The EIB has invested EUR 52 million in this factory.
The batteries that Northvolt will produce in Skelleftea are not only suitable for passenger cars and trucks, but also for use in, for example, industry. Volkswagen, BMW, Siemens and Vattenfall, among others, have already shown interest in the batteries.