The Swedish start-up of electric batteries Northvolt announced Wednesday to have raised $ 1 billion, part of which is matched by the Volkswagen Group, which has a stake of 20% in its capital. The other investors are the BMW group, Goldman Sachs funds, the Swedish pension fund AMF, the Swedish insurer Folksam as well as the Imas foundation (Ikea group).
The capital increase, coupled with credit guarantees, makes it possible to start construction of a 16 GWh production unit in Skelleftea, in northern Sweden, starting in August, for large-scale production. in 2021.
Northvolt says it has so far registered orders worth $ 13 billion until 2030. This announcement "marks a key moment for Europe, which clearly shows that it is ready to face the competition during the next wave of electrification ", commented Peter Carlsson, co-founder of Northvolt.
Volkswagen announced in May that it would invest "close to € 1 billion" to manufacture in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, the crucial components of electric car batteries, whose market is currently dominated by Asian groups. The German manufacturer says that in addition to its contribution to the Swedish plant, its investment will create a joint venture with North-volt for the Salzgitter site.
To catch up on the batteries, France and Germany hope to see the creation of a European project called "Airbus batteries". Between 5 and 6 billion euros, including 4 billion in private money, will be invested in this project, which Brussels has agreed in principle.
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