This Monday I was invited to a mingling event at the head office of Northvolt, via the female engineer network Malvina on KTH. Northvolt is a start-up within the energy sector, aiming to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory. The founders of Northvolt have their backgrounds in Tesla, and working there they got the idea to start a company for large-scale manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries in Sweden. There is no battery factory like this in Sweden today but with our well-developed industries and low energy prices, it is a very good country for this. The thing that I found very interesting with Northvolt is how this startup is determined to grow into a fullscale manufacturing company within the coming five years.
Northvolt focuses a lot on product development of their batteries, but they do not really innovate anything new. What they do know is that the future demand for lithium-ion batteries will be huge, as our society will use more renewable energy, electric cars and home storage systems for energy. They know there will be a market for these batteries, and now they rush through the start-up phase in order to start their production on time to meet this growing demand. In some way, it reminds me of the simulation game that we have been playing in this course. Their strategy is to offer the greenest batteries on the market since they predict that a competitive advantage in for example the electric car sector will be to offer products with a low lifecycle CO2 emission. They will do this by keeping most parts of their supply chain in Sweden, where they can have full control on their emissions and ethical standards.
I was super inspired by this event and I felt like joining this type of company would be a great way to be an intrapreneur, since none of the employees at Northvolt follows an established “know-how” at the moment – they all get to discover how they shall work to contribute to the success of Northvolt.
In the entrance of the office, there were pictures of the future factories of Northvolt. Having this very clear goal visualized on the wall felt inspiring, and I noticed that all employees were proud of the company they are developing together!
Wish you all a good day!