Volvo Cars is going big on wind power – its Torslanda factory in western Sweden is going to be powered by a 1 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind farm.
Volvo Cars chooses offshore wind power
Swedish wind power firm Eolus Vind and Volvo Cars have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the Västvind offshore wind farm off Gothenburg, Sweden. It’s going to supply “significant amounts of electricity” to not only the Torslanda factory, but also the new 50 GWh battery plant Volvo Cars is building there with Northvolt through the jointly owned company Novo Energy.
Västvind is expected to have the potential to generate 4-4.5 TWh of clean electricity annually. That’s equivalent to the current electricity needs of the entire city of Gothenburg, which has a population of nearly 580,000.
Construction of Västvind will start in 2027, and it’s expected to come online in 2029. Eolus owns 95% of the offshore wind farm, and Gothenburg Port Authority owns 5%.
The Torslanda plant is on the island of Hisingen, in Västra Götaland County, in western Sweden. It’s the second most populous county in the country, yet there’s a significant shortage of electricity production there – and its demand for electricity is expected to almost double by 2030.
Johan Lannering, head of strategic collaborations at Volvo Cars, said:
The world is facing a massive challenge due to the climate crisis. Volvo Cars has a goal to only sell fully electric cars by 2030. We are working hard to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire lifecycle of the car, including the electricity used to manufacture the cars and their batteries.
The conditions in western Sweden require us to take action today to establish new electricity supply and at the same time secure our own supply of renewable electricity in the future. Additionally, this transition will create many new jobs in the automotive industry for the region.
Torslanda is a big operation – it has an annual production capacity of 300,000 cars and remains one of Volvo Cars’ longest-operating factories since it opened in 1964. It currently operates on three shifts, employing around 6,500 people. For a long time, it was the largest single workplace in Sweden.
In February 2022, as we covered, Volvo Cars announced that it would invest over $1 billion to upgrade Torslanda to deliver advanced production practices for its next generation of fully electric vehicles. Its EVs are currently built in Ghent, Belgium, but as Lannering said above, Volvo Cars has a goal to only sell EVs by 2030.
It’s also got a net zero goal of 2040, so this is another big move to work toward that goal now.
Photo: Eolus Wind
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