The Swedish recycling factory aims to reach 125,000 tons/year in its gigantic recycling plant and at the same time produce 60 gigawatt hours of new batteries.

Northvolt this week announced that it has produced its first battery cell with 100% recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt. The company now plans a massive scale-up of recycling facilities in Sweden.

The company’s recycling program, Revolt, has produced its first lithium-ion battery cell featuring a nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode produced with metals recovered through the recycling of battery waste. All recycling and production processes were completed at a single site, at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden. The development stands as a breakthrough for the battery industry, the company says. It is also a milestone for Northvolt, they added. This is part of its mission to “establish a sustainable supply of batteries to support the decarbonization of society.”

A one-of-a-kind facility in Europe

Emma Nehrenheim, Northvolt’s Chief Environmental Officer and head of Revolt, commented. “What we have shown here is a clear pathway to closing the loop on batteries,” she said. She added that this means “there exists a sustainable, environmentally-preferable alternative to conventional mining in order to source raw materials for battery production.”

The company’s first giga-scale recycling plant is under development adjacent to Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå, Sweden. This facility will eventually be able to recycle 125,000 tons of batteries and produce 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries per year. The company aims for a battery production market share between 20 and 25 percent in Europe by 2030.

Northvolt has received over €26 billion worth of contracts from customers such as BMW, Fluence, Polestar, Scania, Volkswagen, and Volvo Cars.

Northvolt’s recycling plant will receive incoming material for recycling from two sources. Specifically, they will use end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles and production scrap from Northvolt Ett. The Revolt Ett facility will become Europe’s largest battery recycling plant, Northvolt says. It will also be the only large-scale facility in Europe capable of recycling lithium in addition to nickel, manganese, cobalt and other metals.