ABB signs MoU, will part-finance Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery fab in Sweden

Switzerland’s ABB – a leading solar inverter, storage, microgrid and power electronics supplier to the PV industry – has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to supply and support a new lithium-ion battery factory being built in Sweden by Northvolt.

The facility will be the largest and most state-of-the-art production hub for lithium-ion batteries in Europe, and ABB will support the initial phase of the project with an early investment, the company confirmed.

Continued support will arrive in the form of close collaboration with Northvolt on R&D solutions, integrating robotics, building machine automation, electrification, and the installation of ABB Ability – a unified, cross-industry digital platform that will expedite the development of Northvolt’s customizable battery solutions.

Production of the batteries is expected to begin in 2020, with a demonstration line penciled in for 2019 – by which time Northvolt is confident that it can offer continually optimized battery products for a range of industries including renewable energy and electric mobility.

“This uniquely integrated factory would be a true showcase for ABB’s industrial automation and smart electrification technology, and will help to meet the ever-increasing demand for smarter, greener storage solutions,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.

“The world is moving quickly towards electrification,” added Northvolt CEO Peter Carlsson. “We want to enable this transition by building the largest, cutting-edge lithium-ion battery factory on the European continent and producing the world’s greenest batteries.”

The MoU will see the two companies collaborate on driving battery technology innovation in areas such as production platform, cell and module design, and battery performance. The intention is to drive down costs further in order to make battery storage technology a more affordable and viable option for governments, industrial entities and homeowners.

The size and production capacity of the battery fab was not revealed by Northvolt at the time of going to press.