Scania, Northvolt Developing Battery Cell Technology

Scania R 500 4x2 tractor with box trailer Malaga, Spain Photo: Gustav Lindh, 2016

By Ian Cameron

Swedish truck, bus and engine maker Scania and Northvolt have jointly agreed to develop and commercialize battery cell technology for heavy commercial vehicles.

Scania will invest 10 million euros in the partnership to enhance further development and support the establishment of Northvolt’s demonstration line and research facility. Battery maker Northvolt is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

In making the announcement, Scania said that for heavy trucks and buses, continued development of both charging infrastructure as well as more robust, cost-efficient and sustainable battery cells is crucially needed for a widespread market breakthrough in commercially viable electrification.

Different transport assignments will require different electric powertrains. For optimal effect, battery and cell technologies must therefore be developed to support varying needs, Scania said.

“We aim to make it easy for customers to select sustainable transport solutions. Electrification will play a key part in the shift to a fossil free transport system. However, the current battery cell technology must be developed to fulfil the business requirements of heavy bus and truck customers. With Northvolt as a partner, we believe that we can make major strides forward,” said Henrik Henriksson, Scania’s president and chief executive officer.

The two companies will establish a team and work together at Northvolt’s research facility, Northvolt Labs, in Västerås, Sweden, to develop and commercialize production of battery cells optimized to power commercial vehicles. The companies have also entered into an off-take purchase agreement for battery cells.

“With Scania’s product and business expertise, combined with our cutting-edge manufacturing process, we are convinced that we can produce cost-efficient and green battery cells of the highest quality for the heavy commercial vehicle market,” says Peter Carlsson, co-founder and chief executive officer of Northvolt which was founded in 2016.

Northvolt is building the next generation battery factory in the city of Skellefteå in the north of Sweden with the objective of producing “high-quality green batteries, with a minimal carbon footprint and the highest ambitions for recycling,” it said.