Battery storage specialist Northvolt will spend $750m to expand its Northvolt Labs in the Swedish city of Västerås into what it calls the world’s first research and development (R&D) campus covering the entire battery ecosystem.

The new campus will incorporate an already existing cell industrialisation plant with adjacent test facilities and a pilot recycling plant and cover all value chain activities related to lithium-ion battery design, development and lifecycle – from active materials and cell design to battery systems and recycling.

“There is today an irreversible momentum surrounding the switch to battery electric solutions,” Northvolt chief executive Peter Carlsson said. The company is backed by auto giant VW among others.

“Northvolt Labs is being expanded in order to capitalise on this – to drive the transition at even greater speed towards safe, sustainable battery solutions.

“By establishing a campus where industrial actors can engage, surrounded by all necessary facilities, it is our belief that we can create the necessary foundation for Europe to emerge as the leading region for a technology that is at the heart of the race to decarbonise.”

An R&D centre already under construction is geared towards the development of novel battery cell materials, the company said, adding that a new 15,000 square metre office is being built while staff will increase to at least 1,000, compared to 400 today at Northvolt Labs.

A new customer centre will also be established to provide a meeting space for partners, start-ups, scale-ups and academia, with the vision to collectively drive forward European industry players engaged in battery technologies and electrification.

“Establishing this campus is the natural next step for Northvolt in its mission to deliver world-leading battery technologies,” said chief development officer Yasuo Anno.

“R&D, cell design and module development, battery recycling, manufacturing process development – these fields cannot proceed in isolation.

“By bringing all the parts of the puzzle together, on a single campus, we will be uniquely positioned to develop battery solutions for the global battery market."