Leading battery manufacturers – Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL)

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL)

Contemporary Amperex Technology is believed to be a Chinese ‘State Owned Enterprise’ or at least a company with State support. It is said to be one of the largest Li-ion automotive battery producers in the world, however it is unclear if this reflects planned, rather than existing production capacity. CATL have stated that in the near future they will have a total production capacity of 41.5 gigawatt hours.

CATL’s most high-profile relationship has been that with BMW. It has supplied BMW and its joint venture partners in China with Li-ion batteries for several years and the two have announced a deal by which CATL will build a battery cell plant in Germany to supply BMW operations in Germany. It appears that this deal is exclusive.

CATL plans to ramp up output in Germany where a lack of local producers has left automakers dependent on Asian suppliers for batteries. CATL is building a €240m lithium-ion battery factory near Erfurt, eastern Germany, expected to begin production in 2021 with an initial capacity of 14 gigawatt hours per year. The company recently indicated that capacity will be expanded to 60 GWh by 2026, and that demand in Germany could reach 100 GWh even sooner.

Among the customers CATL plans to supply from Erfurt are BMW, Daimler and Parisheadquartered PSA. Although CATL cooperates with Volkswagen in China, Volkswagen procures its batteries for Europe from LG Chem, Samung and SK Innovation.

CATL network

Planned investments

Huxi, China

  • Planned expenditure of $1.3bn
  • Battery output: 24 GWh annually

Erfurt, Germany

  • CATL plans to invest $240m in the first phase of building its first site in Europe to supply lithium-ion batteries to BMW
  • Output should reach 14GWh annually by 2022