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BRUSSELS: The European Commission has approved €902 million in State aid from Germany for Northvolt to build a gigafactory in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein for the production of electric vehicle battery cells.

The Commission has approved the aid to avoid the risk of the investment being diverted from Europe to the U.S. in order to benefit from foreign subsidies.

Set up in Stockholm in 2016, Northvolt has pioneered a sustainable model for battery manufacturing and has since received US$55 billion in orders from BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volkswagen Group.

The company is currently delivering batteries from its Swedish gigafactory Northvolt Ett and from its R&D and industrialization campus Northvolt Labs.

Last year the company announced a state-of-the-art sodium-ion battery produced with iron and sodium for the expansion of energy storage systems more sustainably than nickel, manganese and cobalt or iron phosphate-based alternatives.

“The world has put high hopes on sodium-ion, and I’m very pleased to say that we’ve developed a technology that will enable its widespread deployment to accelerate the energy transition,” commented Northvolt CEO and co-founder Peter Carlsson. “It’s an important milestone for Northvolt’s market proposition, but battery technology like this is also crucial to reach global sustainability goals by making electrification more cost-efficient, sustainable and accessible worldwide.”

The company said its sodium-ion technology, developed with research partner Altris, could be manufactured with locally sourced materials for regional battery manufacturing in India, the Middle East and Africa.

“Our sodium-ion technology delivers the performance required to enable energy storage with longer duration than alternative battery chemistries, at a lower cost, thereby opening new pathways to deploying renewable power generation, added Carlsson.

Subsequent iterations will also enable electric mobility solutions as a complement to Northvolt’s product portfolio of premium lithium-ion battery cells tailored for automotive customers, and energy-dense lithium-metal battery technology under development for aviation and high-performance vehicles at Cuberg in San Leandro, USA.

The Commission said it has also approved €2.9 billion in French aid to produce batteries, solar panels, wind turbines and heat-pumps plus related key components and critical raw materials to avoid the transfer of technology to foreign countries.

“The production of net-zero equipment in Europe is of strategic interest for the European economy and society,” said Competition Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager. “It has immense importance for achieving our goals in clean mobility, sustainability, and competitiveness.”

The multibillion state aid follows approval of similar schemes in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Spain worth a total €9.1 billion.

https://northvolt.com/
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