The signs are clear that clean energy will dominate the world within the next 20 years, creating bold impacts in the everyday lives of people all over the world. As such, the next step for leading tech firms is to produce a “super” clean and environment-friendly battery—such as ‘green batteries’ —that will dominate in a new electrified world.
Green Batteries and the Future
Former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson recently revealed that he will build a $4.5-billion electric battery plant to power electric cars, trucks and ships. “We will produce a battery with significantly lower carbon footprint than the current supply chains,” Carlsson shared. According to Wired, his startup firm Northvolt has already raised $120 million for the first phase of the project, which will produce 32 gigawatt-hours when it becomes fully operational in 2023.
Elon Musk’s Gigafactory—to be positioned in the Nevada desert—will also produce “super” batteries or green batteries to power the world’s growing electric markets. Both bold ideas are helping to push the world toward a greener future.
At least eight U.S. states have recently outlined plans to ditch gas and diesel cars in favor of electric vehicles—the list includes California, New York, Texas and Washington state. The United Kingdom, France, India and Norway have all announced that they will ban gas and diesel cars in favor of electric vehicles by 2040. At least 10 other countries around the world have set targets for the sale of electric cars, and the clean energy revolution is really starting to take shape. Indeed, organizations and leading energy firms right across the globe are switching their focus toward the future, clean energy.
On the Clean Energy Revolution
Carlsson is determined to lead this clean energy revolution by creating green batteries from raw materials like graphite and nickel—both of which will be sourced from Sweden—and cobalt from Finland. He says the lithium-ion batteries of Northvolt will have a carbon footprint that’s close to zero. In fact, Northvolt aspires to appeal to drivers who are conscious of being environment-friendly and who not only look at the advantages of driving an electric car but also count the energy consumed to build the lithium-ion battery in the first place.
Northvolt will also make its own anode and cathode chemical mixes instead of buying from European or Asian manufacturers. In point of fact, Sweden has clean hydropower in abundance from the northern mountain rivers that can be used to power Carlsson’s battery factory without burning fossil fuels or using nuclear power.
“The point is to support Europe’s green energy transformation,” Carlsson notes. “Right now the flow of batteries to Europe would mainly come from Asia. If you take the [coal-powered] energy grids of China or Japan, both of their carbon footprints are pretty high. When you accumulate that into a battery pack for a vehicle, that’s a significant footprint.”
Toward a Greener Future
Experts say that the real environmental costs come early on in the process when companies obtain lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and nickel for their batteries. If manufacturers follow this clean policy all the way from the beginning to the end of the supply chain, then the world can really start to adopt clean energy totality.