Northvolt IPO: what we know so far

Swedish battery maker Northvolt is reportedly gearing up for an IPO as it plans to build more gigafactories across Europe to meet the burgeoning demand for electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy storage.

According to reports by the Financial Times, the company could be worth $20bn on listing.

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Northvolt is a leader in lithium battery production but made the headlines recently when it announced the development of sodium-ion batteries.

Why is the Northvolt IPO important?

Swedish unicorn Northvolt is one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers and counts companies such as BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volkswagen Group as their clients.

The group has received over $55 billion in orders since it was founded in 2016 and employs 5,000 people across Sweden, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the US and Canada.

The Northvolt IPO is important because it will demonstrate investor appetite for electric vehicle and renewable power storage technology at a time when the pace of growth in EV sales is starting to slow, and major wind projects are canned.

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The anticipation around the Northvolt IPO ratcheted up a notch or two last week after the company announced the development of 160 watt-hours per kilogram sodium-ion batteries designed for low-cost energy storage across India, the Middle East and Africa.

Peter Carlsson, CEO and Co-Founder of Northvolt, said, “the world has put high hopes on sodium-ion, and I’m very pleased to say that we’ve developed a technology that will enable its widespread deployment to accelerate the energy transition.”

“It’s an important milestone for Northvolt’s market proposition, but battery technology like this is also crucial to reach global sustainability goals, by making electrification more cost-efficient, sustainable and accessible worldwide.”

Northvolt Sodium Batteries

Northvolt has developed a sodium-ion battery free from nickel, cobalt, graphite, manganese, and, significantly, lithium.

Northvolt’s breakthrough sodium-ion batteries are based on hard carbon anodes and Prussian White cathodes. Prussian White is made from sodium, iron, nitrogen and carbon.

The absence of lithium and other critical metals will reduce reliance on China and make battery storage for renewable power much cheaper.

Sodium-ion batteries can be made using locally sourced materials instead of expensive imported critical metals, lowering overall cost.

The company is still a way off commercialising batteries for use in electric vehicles. Still, as soon as the energy density is improved, some hope sodium batteries will overtake lithium in electric vehicle applications.

Northvolt is not the only company developing sodium-ion technology. Chinese EV maker CATL and London-listed AMTE Power are among many companies working on their own sodium power storage solutions.

When will Northvolt IPO?

No date has been set for the Northvolt IPO, although it has been widely reported the company is eyeing 2024 for their listing.

The Financial Times reported a person familiar with the matter said: “they want to be ready to go, whenever the market conditions are right. They want everything in place.”

IPOs of any size take time to prepare, and the company will want to wait for more favourable market conditions.

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