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Northvolt confirms partnership with BMW and Umicore

Swedish company, Northvolt, has confirmed a joint partnership with German automotive giants, BMW, and recycling firm, Umicore, Reuters reports.

The collaboration will see the companies work together to develop a complete and sustainable value chain for battery cells for electrified vehicles in Europe.

Northvolt is also searching for more funds from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in order to help realise its ambition of developing Europe’s biggest battery factory.

The new plant is considered vital to Europe’s effort to rival Asian companies such as CATL, Samsung and LG Chem, who have taken the advantage in the battery market by locking in supply deals with automotive manufacturers.

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In an announcement on Monday (15 October), Northvolt confirmed it had teamed up with the companies to design and commercialize a process that would enable vehicle batteries to experience a second lease of life as storage products before being recycled.

“BMW and Northvolt have a shared commitment to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation,” said Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO, Northvolt. “As batteries are becoming a key strategic question for car manufacturers, this partnership does not only mark a key milestone for Northvolt, it also highlights the importance of sustainable battery cells in the coming wave of electrification.”

With Northvolt aiming to develop a factory capable of producing 21 gigawatt hours of battery capacity a year by 2023, the company needs to raise almost $4.6bn in equity and debt to fund its plans.

The company hopes its partnership with BMW will increase its credibility with equity investors.