I guess one could say that Norrland is like Sweden’s Montana or something like that.
Currently Norrland is receiving lots of business interest and investments. Northvolt is one example. H2 Green Steel is another. For the local population I believe this is very good news. It should give lots of job opportunities that will spill over to other areas such as service jobs.
Some reasons that are often cited why Norrland is a good location is the availability of clean energy from hydropower and that there is also a high level of competence already when it comes to modern manufacturing methods.
[Edit: province → region]
 Totally different story in the south of Sweden where nuclear reactors have been decomissioned, and the energy availability seems to become more and more uncertain.
One area around three national parts (Padjelanta, Sarek, Stora sjöfallet) is also called Laponia.
But the political division of Sweden around that area - that's Norbottens län, so that's the subdivision that people care most about in their day-to-day life.
If this is succesful, I hope it leads to big changes in other heavy industries.
After the meeting they are both smiling. Some weeks later Ingvar "Haparanda-messiah" Kamprad delivers the news of a new IKEA in Haparanda.
Its a really cool company, I recommend people check them out.
Absolutely not "region" in Swedish though, which refers to the 21 administrative units that Sweden is divided into.
I've always found it extremely difficult to translate these concepts between different languages.
Northvolt goes far beyond just cell manufacturing. We also make BMS (battery management systems) and a lot of our value added is oriented towards digital services like remote monitoring (IoT) and data science analysis
On the cell manufacturing side we also do a lot of data science to help optimise our factory and detect errors earlier in the process
Besides Software roles we also hire Electrical, Mechanical and Chemical engineers as one would expect
Also on some more other news, a few months ago Northvolt acquired Cuberg, a startup focusing on high-density cells for specialised devices like electric aircraft:
Please upvote so people see this post :)
This gave them a really nice head start to be able to get all the funding.
They seem to be doing some interesting stuff with vertically integrating cathode, but I haven't found to much information about that.
There are many examples in the past where commodity manufacturing projects have eventually failed badly against Asian competitors with dramatically lower employee costs. (Heck, even specifically in the battery space.)
As I understand it, in the short term the primary motivation is providing battery volumes at a steady/guaranteed rate to their European car industry investors since there currently is a lack of stable global supply. Hard to argue against this.
In the longer term, I'm guessing Northvolt is gambling that co2-neutral manufacturing of batteries will become an important enough differentiator - either by customer choice or EU legislation - that they'll be able to sell their batteries at what might end up being a relatively high premium.
Labor cost of the type of labor you need is already not that different from Europe. Energy can be more expensive. And the supply chain for so many batteries becomes a real issue.
Historically we have seen Tesla move from Japan produced Panasonic cells to Nevada produced cells. And this is pretty much universally considered a fantastic move by Tesla.
It is already the case that pretty much all large battery makers, including LG, SK from Korea, CATL from China, Tesla from the US and multiple new European producers all have announced gigantic investments to build cell plants in Europe.
Tesla is basically moving to a model where the battery factory and the car factory are basically in the same building or next to each other as localization is actually a huge cost driver.
See this map for the amount of localization being done:
Hah, what does that mean?
I have the Millennium series queued up: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", "The Girl who played with Fire", "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets"
The only Nordic Noir book I've read is Smilla's Sense of Snow, but I can't recommend.
There are two American Nordic Noir series I recommend: "The Killing", set in Seattle and based on the Danish show "Forbrydelsen." Also "Fargo" the movie and all 4 seasons of the TV series.
It's interesting that that Fargo sensibility that the Cohen Brothers captured so well comes from the Nordic regions. Duluth Minnesota was once called the Helsinki of America.
And if you have the option to watch some older Beck movies, they won't disappoint either.
$2.8bln will finance 20GWh production upgrade, therefore Northvolt will need to raise a lot more money to achieve 150GWh production.
The article makes this mistake several times, conflating energy and power in some places, but then correctly saying "150 GWh ... annual capacity" elsewhere.
PS: 150 GWh/annum is just 17 megawatts! This goes to show just how difficult batteries are to produce...
... no no no ... these aren't single use cells, instantaneous power isn't a meaningful unit (I mean energy/time is technically power, but one couldn't compare this to power as measured from a traditional power plant or anything like taht).
If one had to somehow contort the output into watts:
Recharged every week, 150GWh of car batteries would eat ~1GW of grid capacity. It is still a very long way from any meaningful fraction of grid energy (~4TW globally), but watts really aren't the right unit to measure production capacity.
That said: Lithium cells are already good enough and cheap enough for ground transportation to be practical. And that is in some sense the "last frontier". Static applications are already as well served as they ever will be, and no, battery powered aviation just isn't going to be practical ever (carbon nerds need to look at synfuels there).
We had the amazing revolution in battery technology already, basically. And it enabled your EV and your phone. We won the game about 15 years ago.
The other components of Lithium battery chemistries, however, tend to be much rarer. Most (by kWh capacity) manufactured battery chemistries today are dependent on cobalt, which is a rare earth with some finite quantity of reserves that absolutely can "run out". Some manufacturers (Tesla in particular) seem to be having some success moving off that and onto nickel chemistries. We'll see.
However there are at least 4 huge nickel/cobalt mines being developed in Canada. More then that in Australia. And more other places too.
Moving of cobalt to more nickel, iron or manganese is clearly the path forward however.
Lithium is the trickiest part to scale since is practically acts more like a complex chemical then a commodity metal. Each 'mine' is highly costume in the form it lithium arrives at and the process needed. And the resulting chemicals are not commodities but rather have to be qualified with each manufactures.
I would say lithium of the quality needed is the closest to a real supply issue. Gravity is after that even if its something people don't think about much. Nickel is not exactly rare but the problem is that the current nickel production growth is very dirty.
Economics basically push us in the right direction. Hard to source metals drive up the price and give a cost advantage to batteries that don't require them. That's already happening with Tesla. The same dynamic is pushing people away from oil before we've run out of it because it is getting more expensive over time.
Northvolt has actually acquired a competitor to those above and will compete in the same field (actually lithium metal anodes, not solid state).
The fact is, that even the most advanced company in lithium metal anodes (wrongly called solid state) will not have its product in 100k cars by 2025. In the years from now to then 10s of millions of BEV have to be built, and the supplier to those cars will have made billions.
And even then, all solid state companies combined will likely not produce enough for 100k in 2025 when the production rate of BEV should be running at 10+ million a year.
So it will take many, many years for solid state (li metal tech) to be a real player in the market and 10s of billions will be made by battery suppliers until then.
For them to simply wait 15 years and do nothing would be kind of crazy.
They are not even as close as Li Metal.
Investments made today into li-ion production would expect to have a return on investment in under ten years, so it makes sense to make such an investment.
Edit: If it were to take less time to commercialize the new chemistry, it would be because it can piggyback off existing techniques. If that were the case, converting existing infra to the new battery chemistry would be possible. So the current investment would likely not be wasted.
Whereas if the company is American it's always:
[founder's name]+[company name]
I don't know if it has to do with media or with the fact that foreign founders might want to be more in the dark compared to American ones.
In Europe wealth is historically frowned upon so people might be trying to get their millions or billions in the dark and only speak and be relevant among decision makers circles.
If that's the case then those people will dominate American corporate world in the future because it's appearent that being famous only means trouble.
Besides it makes tremendous sense. Wealth gives you a megaphone but such megaphone is useless if people are able to look your speech rehersals, while you sweat,strutter and stop mid sentence.
It's my opinion that the journey of an entrepreneur who wants to get into politcs should be:
Money > Sports franchise > social relevance ..or
Money > Own Rock band > social relevance
Money > your own movie > social relevance
It's really cringy when these SaaS guys or EVs guys try to appeal to the masses. You end up being hated by those who hate the rich and ignored by everybody else
> Oh amazing, Sweden is beautiful
Musk is like a weird combination of Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump.
He tweets like Trump, but when he gets on stage he stutters and speak as badly as Michael Bloomberg.
Regardless of what one thinks of Trump people knew him for more than being just a rich guy, he was the CEO of the Apprentice and Yankees #1 fan for a long time.
He also speaks with the utmost confidence, this is a great social skill and you can use it at will if you don't need the academics and the high IQ people on your side...in politics it's one person, one vote