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Source: Northvolt

World's Greenest Batteries On The Horizon In Sweden

By Tessa Love

In the quest to build sustainable batteries, Peter Carlsson may be the right guy for the job. Carlsson worked closely with Elon Musk on Tesla's luxury electric Model S as the company's global supply chain manager for five years, including the company's push to help reduce carbon emissions across the world. Now he's starting his own company in hopes of creating the world's greenest battery.

Carlsson and fellow former Tesla executive Paolo Cerruti founded the startup Northvolt to "produce a battery with significantly lower carbon footprint than the current supply chains," as he told Wired. And this starts with the factory: The founders recently announced plans to build a $4.5 billion electric battery plant in Sweden to power electric cars, trucks, ships, and even a few snowmobiles.

Powering cars with electric batteries instead of fossil fuels is certainly a step up for curbing carbon emissions, but sadly, making those batteries comes at an environmental cost. Lithium-ion batteries require mining raw materials like lithium, cobalt, and nickel, all of which ravage the environment and cause pollution, most often in the least developed countries. Additionally, on the other end of the spectrum, batteries must be replaced, and disposing of lithium-ion batteries can be toxic to the environment.