European governments appear to have realised that relying on China or other other countries for your green agenda lithium battery production isn’t a wise move. Still need the lithium and cobalt from volatile regimes though. Here’s the news from Italy;
Italvolt Spa, founded by Lars Carlstrom to create one of the largest gigafactories in Europe, has signed an agreement with Prelios Sgr, manager of Fondo Monteverdi, for the purchase of an area of one million square meters. The purchased land is located in the municipality of Scarmagno, which is in Italy’s second largest region of Piedmont, where the former Olivetti factory stood.
Italvolt’s gigafactory, which once fully operational, is destined to become one of Europe’s largest production and storage sites of lithium batteries for electric vehicles, with a planned capacity of 45 GWh. This represents one of the most important and largest industrial investment projects in Italy in modern times, involving an overall investment of around 3.4 billion euros.
The site in Scarmagno has been selected for its existing infrastructure and strategic geographical location in terms of good road and rail connections. The site will be able to leverage Piedmont’s productive capability, the leading region in Italy for automotive industrial production. The land will be reclaimed and repurposed by Italvolt, dedicating an area of 300 thousand square meters to constructing the new plant. Out of this, 20 thousand square meters will be dedicated to creating a Research & Development centre.
The next step for Italvolt is obtaining building permits by the beginning of 2022 so work can begin in the second half of the year. Pininfarina’s Architecture Division will design the new plant with a strong focus on environmental and social impact. Pininfarina intends to develop a new generation industrial plant integrated into the economic and social fabric of the region.
Lars Carlstrom, CEO and Founder of Italvolt, stated: “The agreement with Prelios Sgr represents a crucial step in the implementation plan of our gigafactory project. We are delighted to have concluded the purchase of the land with input from local authorities. In recent months they have made a significant contribution to the promotion of Italvolt’s project. The decommissioned site offers excellent potential to restore the local industrial heritage, offering jobs and environmental improvements.”
In the first half of 2021, the electric mobility industry saw a significant increase in growth, not only in Europe but globally. In Italy, for instance, in the first six months of 2021, registrations of electric and plug-in hybrid cars quadrupled, compared to the same period last year. As a result, the demand for lithium-ion batteries in Europe is expected to grow at a rate of 24% per year, driven by electric mobility exceeding 1,200 GWh in 2035.
Lars Carlstrom added: “We are proud to be the promoters of a project that will become one of the largest gigafactories in Southern Europe. We are certain that this will pave the way for new industrial initiatives dedicated to battery production. To achieve the challenging goal, set by the European Commission, to complete the transition towards a zero-emission automotive industry by 2035, it is necessary to accelerate battery production, and Italvolt is ready to do its part.”