Northvolt says the commissioning of its Ett gigafactory in northern Sweden has led to the assembly of the first battery cell.

The supplier maintains the cell is the first to have been fully designed, developed and assembled at a gigafactory by a homegrown European battery company.

The first cell of Northvolt Ett represents a milestone which the company has been working towards since the gigafactory was announced in 2017. The cell is of a prismatic cell format and came off the assembly line on 28 December.

Commissioning and upscaling of the factory will continue through into 2022, when the first commercial customer deliveries will be made.

“This first cell is only the beginning,” said Northvolt CEO and co-founder, Peter Carlsson.

“Over the course of the coming years, we look forward to Northvolt Ett expanding its production capacity greatly to enable the European transition to clean energy.”

The battery cell was developed at Northvolt Labs, the company’s industrialisation factory in Västerås, Sweden, which has been in production since early 2020.

Production capacity at Northvolt Ett will increase towards 60 GWh per year to fulfil more than US$30bn worth of contracts the company has secured from customers, including BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar.

To these customers in the automotive, industrial and energy storage sectors, Northvolt Ett will deliver cells of varying formats, with commercial deliveries starting in 2022.

Northvolt Ett in Skellefteå employs more than 500 people.