Italian battery startup Italvolt has confirmed federal and local government support to build Europe’s largest battery gigafactory outside the northern Italian city of Ivrea.
Italvolt will take over the abandoned Olivetti di Scarmagno site for its €4 billion battery plant, from which it plans to supply the booming electric vehicle (EV) industry.
With an ultimate production target of 70GWh per year, the first phase of the new factory is scheduled for completion in 2024, delivering 45GWh of battery capacity.
Founded by CEO Lars Carlstrom, Italvolt insists the gigafactory will employ 4000 workers directly, another 15,000 indirectly and will house a dedicated research and development laboratory.
“The support of the Piedmont Region, local administrations and trade associations has been beyond our expectations, the intense and fruitful collaboration of the last eight months has been decisive,” Carlstrom said today.
The site has established motorway and rail links with Ivrea, Milano (Milan) and the automotive hub of Torino (Turin), though there is irony in Italy’s latest great electronics hope taking over the ruins of its last one, with the once-huge Olivetti absorbed by Telecom Italia in 2003.
Carlstrom explained the push for a northern Italian gigafactory by insisting global battery demand will increase 17 times to at least 3600GWh by 2030.
Though Italvolt has no confirmed customers for its planned gigafactory, it has connections with Indian manufacturing giant Mahindra and with the newly created Stellantis Group, whose brands include Jeep, RAM, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and the spurned General Motors
It has already engaged the Mahindra-owned Pininfarina Architecture to design the 300,000 square meter plant and the Stellantis-owned Comau to fit out the interior and develop the R&D facility and planned academic hub.
““We are particularly excited to be able to launch our project in Piedmont, where we have found the perfect combination of factors that I believe are necessary to make the most of the opportunity of green industrialization: a solid industrial tradition and highly specialized technological know-how in the automotive industry,” Carlstrom said.
“Finally, we are honored to have the opportunity to build our Gigafactory in the Scarmagno area, once occupied by the Olivetti industrial center, a company that has marked the history of Italian industry and still today represents an icon of technology made in Italy.”