Swedish battery maker Northvolt announced Wednesday it has produced its first lithium-ion battery cell at its factory in Skelleftea, meeting its deadline to start production at the plant before the end of 2021.
Northvolt, which competes with Tesla’s battery-making division and was valued at $12 billion by investors in June, said it’s the first battery of its kind to have been fully designed, developed and assembled at a so-called gigafactory by a homegrown European battery company, according to CNBC.
A gigafactory can be classed as a large-scale battery plant where the yearly output is measured in gigawatt-hours (GWh). The facility, Northvolt Ett in Skelleftea, is expected to have a yearly output of 60 GWh.
The battery cell came off the production line at the gigafactory on Tuesday, Northvolt said.
“Of course, this first cell is only the beginning. Over the course of the coming years, we look forward to Northvolt Ett expanding its production capacity greatly to enable the European transition to clean energy,” said Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, said in a statement.
The majority of the world’s electric car batteries are currently made in the U.S. and Asia, but Northvolt hopes to change this.
Despite being less than 6 years old, Northvolt has signed more than $30 billion worth of contracts with customers including carmakers BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo and Polestar.
Northvolt said commercial deliveries will begin in 2022, adding that production capacity will increase to 60 gigawatt-hours in the coming years, which is enough to supply batteries for around 1 million electric vehicles.