ZURICH, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Swiss engineering group ABB has joined Northvolt's project to build Europe's largest lithium-ion battery factory in Sweden to cater for expected demand growth for electric cars, the partners said on Tuesday.
The agreement covers a supply and technology partnership as well as collaboration on research and product development. ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) will support the initial phase of the project with an unspecified early investment.
Former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson's Northvolt wants the Swedish plant to rival the scale of the U.S. electric carmaker's Gigafactory in the Nevada desert, targeting annual cell production equivalent to 32 gigawatt-hours when it hits full gear in 2023.
The factory is expected to start production in 2020. A demonstration line will be ready by 2019, ABB said in a statement.
ABB intends to supply robotics, automation and electrification solutions for the project.
Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by David Goodman