Italvolt strikes deal with ABB in gigafactory agreement
13 October 2021
One of the European Union’s goals is to boost battery production on the continent, with the aim of being self-sufficient by 2025. A company that will aid this effort is Italian startup Italvolt, which is building one of the largest gigafactories in Europe. The first stage of the project is scheduled for completion by 2024.
The electrically-chargeable vehicle (EV) battery startup is making significant headway with its plans and has now partnered with Swiss tech company ABB, saying the agreement is a key step in delivering its gigafactory in Northern Italy. It has picked ABB for the front-end engineering and design at the site.
Turin-based Italvolt focuses on a certified green supply chain and says it wants to set new standards for green manufacturing. Founded by Swedish businessman Lars Carlstrom, the former co-founder and chairman of Britishvolt, the company grabbed headlines earlier this year when it announced a €4 billion investment to create the gigafactory in order to meet growing demand for lithium-ion batteries.
The site, the first of its kind in Italy, will have a planned capacity of 45GWh – enough to power 550,000 EVs per year. Italvolt has ambitious plans and aims to raise this capacity to 70GWh in the future.
The collaboration between Italvolt and ABB will open up other pathways as the companies aim to explore how automation, electrification and digitalisation solutions could fast-track production processes for battery manufacturing.
‘Italvolt’s plans for large-scale manufacturing are crucial for electrical mobility, increased sustainability and reindustrialisation of the region,’ said Mauro Martis, ABB’s south Europe cluster manager, process industries. ‘Together we will explore our technologies and synergies with Italvolt, providing our know-how for this ambitious project.’
The Italian startup said the agreement will bring it expertise on several key topics. These will cover the design and delivery of electrification and automation solutions, as well as the optimisation of manufacturing processes. It will also look at robotics and autonomous operations that will aid the transportation and handling of material at the plant.
‘ABB’s state of art technology will help us in ensuring the sustainability of our production plant as well as enable efficient, reliable, and cost-effective production. We are happy that ABB is joining us for the journey,’ said Carlstrom, Italvolt’s CEO.
Italvolt said its key goal is to contribute to the ‘green industrialisation’ and put Italy on the map as a preeminent battery manufacturer. It will also run an R&D centre in the country, aiming ‘to defend Europe’s market position.’ In other parts of Europe, sustainable battery solutions also play a vital role, with Swedish lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt last week announcing a $750 million (€649 million) investment to expand its laboratory facility.
ABB – a recognised name in the field of automation technologies for smart grids, robotics, EVs, renewable energy and motors – will be a valuable partner for Italvolt. It recently hit the news with the launch of the world’s fastest EV charger. The partnership between the two companies will be of significant value to Italvolt as it strives to become one of the main suppliers of green batteries in Europe.