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“Sweden can become a battery world leader”

Batteries are the key to climate transition, but today’s battery production needs to be ramped up exponentially in order to satisfy the market.
– “The growth is huge, but in order to harness the potential, the industry needs to strengthen its expertise when it comes to integrating batteries into products,” says Claes Winzell, the person leading a major initiative at RISE aimed at applying the research and expertise existing in the organisation to issues relating to batteries.

In terms of the manufacturer of batteries, China has long been the colossus supplying the world with products. However, as electrification becomes increasingly important to achieve climate transition and as the need to move away from fossil fuels grows, Sweden and the EU must be able to meet their own need for batteries. 

– “Europe is currently considering how the European automotive industry can supply its need for batteries,” says Claes Winzell at RISE. “At the moment we are heavily dependent on China.”

Many battery factories are currently being built across Europe, including Swedish company Northvolt’s factory in Skellefteå. The company is also planning to build more battery factories in other countries. Non-European companies such as American Tesla and Chinese Svolt and Catl are also building battery factories. But the future needs are enormous and the question is: how much will production be able to cover? 

– “In ten years, you have to go from a produced volume of 25 gigawatt hours to 500, so that’s a massive increase in battery production,” says Winzell. 

Opportunities presented by greater battery availability

As manufacturing capacity increases, the prices of batteries will fall, thus presenting greater opportunities – particularly in the renewable energy sector.

– “Batteries will then also become interesting for other applications for which they are currently too expensive, such as energy storage in energy systems,” explains Winzell. “Then you can manage power output and flexibility accordingly since renewable energy types place higher dynamic demands on the system than nuclear power, hydropower and oil-fired cogeneration plants, which are very stable.” 

The mass production of batteries may therefore be central to fully achieving our climate transition.

– “Batteries are absolutely necessary for this to be possible,” asserts Winzell. “Research is being conducted in many different areas, such as hydrogen and other forms of energy, but I believe that it is batteries that will become the major dominant source of energy storage over the next 10 to 30 years.”

Våra industrier kommer ha stort behov av batterier och kompetens

Major investment to strengthen Swedish competitiveness

In order to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness, RISE is now also investing heavily into this area. Building knowledge and expertise on batteries is extremely important, especially in a country with many major industries. 

– “Our industries will have a great need for batteries along with the skills to use and integrate them into their products,” says Winzell. “The automotive industry in particular, but also machine manufacturers and energy companies.” 

RISE is building two test facilities for electric and plug-in vehicles in Gothenburg and Nykvarn, which will be ready in 2023. In parallel, a major investment is being made in building a lab in Borås with sophisticated technology and equipment to test battery safety based on a variety of factors. 

– “It will be a globally unique facility,” says Winzell. 

The rapid development and need for expertise have resulted in RISE mobilising its entire organisation to better utilise the full range of research and expertise existing in the organisation and to apply these to battery issues. In this way, an even higher level of expertise and knowledge can be quickly established in order to make new advancements in the field. 

– “By making use of all our experts, we can make Sweden a battery world leader,” believes Winzell. 

There is much to suggest that batteries will redraw the map of how our energy system is structured. 

– “There are myriad future systems that we may not fully understand today, but for which batteries can be an interesting application or solution. Our electricity supply contracts may look completely different in five to ten years thanks to these potential new solutions,” concludes Claes Winzell.


Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory, SEEL, is a test bed for research and development in electromobility, owned and operated by Chalmers and RISE in a joint company.

The purpose of SEEL is to strengthen effective knowledge development and the conditions for cooperation in electrified transport, in Sweden and Europe.

Claes Winzell

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Claes Winzell


+46 10 516 59 40

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