VW Invests $1 Billion in Northvolt
Volkswagen AG is investing €900 million ($1 billion) in Northvolt AB, a Stockholm-based startup that will produce batteries for electrified vehicles.
VW will acquire a 20% stake in Northvolt and have one seat on the company’s board of directors. Part of the VW investment is included in Northvolt’s latest funding round that also involved BMW, Goldman Sachs and other investors.
VW and Northvolt also are forming a 50:50 joint venture to produce battery cells in Germany. Construction of a 16-gWh plant is due to start by the end of 2020. VW aims to ramp up production at the facility by early 2024.
VW estimates the annual battery capacity requirements across its various brands in Europe will exceed 150 GWh by 2025. Similar volumes are expected in Asia.
Northvolt is conducting pilot production of battery cells in Sweden. The company aims to open a factory in Skellefte, Sweden, in 2023. The facility is expected to have an initial annual capacity of 16 gWh, which the company aims to eventually double.
Vehicles are being engineered with a silicon infrastructure that does everything from control the powertrain to allowing remote connections—including the possibility of hacking.
Honda Motor Co. is launching a “SmartCharge” pilot program that allows customers to coordinate charging times for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid for non-peak grid times.
Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. is testing driverless pods equipped with large “eyes” designed to let pedestrians know they’ve been recognized by the vehicle.