The Volvo Group has revealed it is planning to establish a large scale battery production plant in its native Sweden in a bid to meet the rapidly growing demand for zero emission commercial vehicles and specifically battery electric vehicles (BEV)
Like a lot of prominent automotive companies around the globe, Volvo Group has seen the need to integrate battery production into its vehicle manufacturing, rather than buying in batteries as components as they have been considered in the past. Batteries will be the core of many zero emission vehicle powertrains and so automotive companies, like Volvo will need to take greater control of their production and development.
Volvo Group’s president and CEO, Martin Lundstedt said that the company aims to lead the transition to a decarbonised transport system and have the long-term ambition to offer its customers solutions that are 100 per cent fossil free.
“There is a strong demand from our customers already today, and by 2030, it is our ambition that at least 35 per cent of the products we sell are electric,” said Lundstedt.
“This ramp-up will require large volumes of high-performing batteries, produced using fossil free energy and it is a logical next step for us to include battery production in our future industrial footprint,” he said.
“We aim to do this together with partners and the journey starts now,” Lundstedt added.
Volvo said that an extensive site localisation study has been completed, which indicates that the Skaraborg region in Sweden is the ideal location for the plant.
The proposed site in Mariestad is situated close to the Volvo Group’s current main powertrain plant in Skövde and the company said that this will ‘benefit from the region’s existing industrial and logistics infrastructure and build on its strong heritage and world-class competence in advanced, high-volume manufacturing, while having access to Sweden’s rich supply of fossil free energy’.
The Volvo also pointed out that its R&D centres and headquarters in Gothenburg are only two hours away from the proposed site in Skaraborg.
The company says that it plans to gradually increase capacity and reach large-scale series production by 2030, adding that the battery cells will be designed specifically for commercial vehicle applications, supporting the global roll-out of electric trucks, buses, construction equipment and electric drivelines for different applications.
Volvo added that the establishment of the production site is subject to approvals from relevant authorities. The final localisation will be determined after the public consultation has been conducted and operations are subject to environmental permit approvals.