Swedish Powerhouses Einride and Northvolt Making World-Wide Waves in Sustainability

Our time in Stockholm allowed us to visit big companies including our meeting with Einride Senior VP of Research and Public Affairs, Christofer Laurell, PhD. Einride specializes in electric and self-driving vehicles, or Einride pods. Einride wants to save the world by disrupting the global freight mobility ecosystem through the fully electric and autonomous pods.

One interesting thing that Christofer shared was that Swedes tend to not like tension in the room, but Einride is going against the mold by constantly causing tension. One way that Einride is redefining the trucking industry is by creating different versions of the status quo. For instance, Tiffany Heathcott, a trucking veteran in the U.S. became the first woman autonomous truck driver in the U.S. with Einride.

What Einride is doing now is inspired by the Wright Brothers. Christofer shared how the first flight was not very long. Einride’s first pod did not go very far, but now they are world-wide and expanding more and more into busy cities. A big takeaway from this visit is that big leaps take time and while starting small may seem difficult, it is amazing what can be accomplished when people wake up in the morning passionate about what they are doing, especially when it is leading to a better future.

Caption: Business in Scandinavia class at Einride with Christofer Laurell, PhD (Senior VP at Einride) and Anna Amanda Carlsson (Community Associate at Einride & Chapman Class of 2018)

We also got to visit Northvolt, a Swedish battery developer and manufacturer, specializing in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles. Here we met with CEO and co-founder Peter Carlsson. Northvolt accounts for the majority of Sweden’s total venture capital investment in transportation and energy. The very exciting news with Northvolt was that we visited the day before Northvolt launched the largest industrial-scale battery recycling plant alongside its gigafactory in Northern Sweden. Northvolt has a vigorous goal to have 50% of recycled material in factories by 2030, and when asked, the company confirmed they are on track to accomplish this.

Our Northvolt meeting ended with Catharine Finan in Talent Acquisition, who discussed the company’s significant growth since it was founded in 2016. Northvolt has over 3,000 people working for them, with 1,800 of those positions filled in the last year and 400 current open positions. Northvolt employees come from 113 different nationalities as they hire people from all over the globe. Some phrases that resonate at Northvolt include: “call out b.s.” and “get sh*t done.” This company is doing a lot of new innovative projects that have not been done before, so working at Northvolt takes a bold, passionate, and excellent person. Northvolt also sticks to its guns by never compromising sustainability or quality. This is exemplified by Northvolt not having any designated parking for employees, but encouraging employees to commute by train, bike, or walking to work. Also, part of Northvolt's success is having employees from so many diverse places since finding talent that specializes in new battery energy is not easy, and finding the right talent transcends all borders.

Caption: Business in Scandinavia class with Northvolt CEO and co-founder Peter Carlsson and Northvolt Branding Specialist Fanny Källströmer