Protected newts might hinder construction of new battery factory
Volvo is planning to build a new large-scale production plant for battery cells in Mariestad in the Skaraborg region in Sweden. However, the plans have hit a speed bump as a protected species of newts has been found at the site.
At the location of the planned battery factory, the county administrative board has found traces of a strictly protected species of newt. Traces of the species are said to have been found in the area. The fact that the species is strictly protected means that the breeding and resting areas of the species must also be protected, reports Swedish radio P4 Skaraborg.
The developers will have to make an inventory of the newts' next spring, investigating how many individuals reside in the area. The results of the investigation will then show the developers can proceed with the process.
Mariestad is situated close to the Volvo Group’s current main powertrain plant in Skövde – meaning that the site would benefit from the region’s existing industrial and logistics infrastructure as well as competence in advanced, high-volume manufacturing. Adding to this is the fact that the Volvo Group’s R&D centers and headquarters in Gothenburg are only two hours away.
Volvo’s plan is to gradually increase capacity and reach large-scale series production by 2030. The battery cells will be designed specifically for commercial vehicle applications, supporting the global roll-out of electric trucks, buses, construction equipment and electric drivelines for different applications.