Italvolt plans gigawatt battery factory for electric vehicles in Italy
Post date: 17/02/2021 - 07:48
Milan-based Italvolt Spa is currently looking for a site in Italy to build a battery factory for electric vehicles. The regions of Piedmont, Campania and Calabria are being considered.
The company aims to build a €4 billion ($4.8 billion) gigafactory on an area of 300,000 square meters. Around 4,000 employees will initially produce lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 45 GWh hours; in the next step 70 GWh. The first phase of the project will be completed by spring 2024. This includes site selection as well as all viability and risk assessments (due diligence).
The project involves the architects of the Italian design studio Pininfarina Spa, which had already worked on construction projects of a similar scale. The Turin-based Comau Group, an expert in automation and robot technologies and part of the Stellantis automotive holding company founded in January, is to be entrusted with the technical equipment for the factory. In addition, Comau will be responsible for setting up the R&D laboratory.
Italvolt founder and CEO Lars Carlstrom sees global battery demand in the automotive sector increasing 17-fold to about 3,600 GWh by 2030. Demand in the European Union alone will be 565 GWh, he said, and 1,548 GWh in China.
Carlstrom was also a co-founder and former board member of Britishvolt. The company had announced in January that it would start producing lithium-ion batteries at the end of 2023. Investment will be £2.6 billion ($3.6 billion), with Blyth in the northeast of the U.K. set as the site for Britishvolt's gigawatt factory. Electricity requirements are to be met by hydroelectric power from Norway, delivered via North Sea submarine cable.
According to BBC reports, Carlstrom resigned at Britishvolt after it was revealed that he had been sentenced to 60 hours of community service in Sweden in the 1990s for tax fraud, among other charges. He also had been accused years later by Swedish tax authorities of negligence in an unpaid tax debt at one of his companies. Carlstrom told the BBC that he was aware of these 25-year-old transgressions and that he had intended to resign from the board of Britishvolt when the company was established.