Government instructs Business Sweden to coordinate efforts to set up large battery plants as part of automotive industry’s green transition
Last week, the Government decided to task Business Sweden with strengthening the coordination of efforts to set up large battery plants as part of the automotive industry’s green transition.
“The automotive industry is important to Sweden’s economy and competitiveness and is key to Sweden being a leader in the transition. Giving Business Sweden this remit promotes robust coordination of efforts designed to realise the vehicle manufacturers’ key investments. The remit thus contributes to ensuring that the plants are successfully set up and, in the long run, to ensuring the green industrial transition,” says Minister for Energy, Business and Industry Ebba Busch.
Vehicle manufacturers are investing heavily in electrification, two key components of which are battery development and production. Setting up these plants is expected to create thousands of jobs that are crucial to the transport sector’s climate transition and the industry’s competitiveness. Examples of large plants of this kind include Volvo Car Group and Northvolt AB’s joint gigafactory and battery research and development centre in Gothenburg, the Volvo Group’s battery factory in Mariestad and Scania AB’s battery facility in Södertälje.
Setting up large battery plants places huge demands on the local community in terms of infrastructure, innovation, energy supply, permits, skills supply and access to housing in the relevant municipalities and regions.
The automotive industry has welcomed the announcement of this coordination remit.
“Volvo Cars’ ambition is to drive the transition to sustainable mobility. Our goal is to become a purely electric car maker by 2030. Our multi-billion kronor investment in the new battery plant in Gothenburg, in partnership with Northvolt, is an important step in this direction. The remit of coordinating the setting up of plants for the automotive industry will play an important and timely role in facilitating collaboration between politicians and business and in the procedures required to make progress,” says Jim Rowan, CEO of Volvo Cars.
“The most important challenge of our time – a rapid transition to a sustainable society – requires new ways of working. Having this remit in place is a necessary and welcome step for Sweden. We look forward to faster procedures, simpler regulation and better coordination of the necessary conditions that business and politicians want to see in order to accelerate the pace of the major industrial transition that we are in the midst of,” says Martin Lundstedt, CEO and President of Volvo Group.
“Scania is undergoing its largest transformation ever. A brand-new battery assembly plant will open in Södertälje in the autumn, and we are switching production to build the next generation of electric trucks. They are multi-billion kronor investments that are a real part of the climate transition and reindustrialisation. Swedish leadership on climate change is therefore important. We now hope that the coordination remit for the setting up of plants for the automotive industry will mean concrete action in important matters such as permit processes, electricity grids and skills supply. Sweden is a small but important domestic market for Scania,” says Christian Levin, CEO of Scania and TRATON.
Business Sweden is the key actor in promoting investment and is therefore the right organisation to carry out this remit. Business Sweden has announced that Klas Ericson, manager of the Smart Industry programme, will be in charge of carrying out the remit. Business Sweden is to submit its final report to the Ministry of Climate and Enterprise by 30 September 2025.
The automotive industry’s green transition
Sweden will have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and should thereafter achieve negative emissions. To achieve this target, transport sector emissions need to be virtually zero by 2045. The automotive industry’s transition to fossil-free is far-reaching, large-scale, complex and needs to be implemented rapidly. Electrification plays an important role in this. The Swedish automotive industry has the potential to be at the forefront of the green transition. The massive and historic investments that vehicle manufacturers are now making, particularly in battery production, are time-critical for the automotive industry’s transition and its contribution to achieving EU and national environmental and climate targets.