CATL plans to better serve European market with Germany plant

Published on 09/18 2019  Source: China Daily

China's largest power battery maker CATL is ready to make deeper inroads into the European market with its Erfurt, Germany, plant. The plant will produce both battery cells and modules for the region's partners.

CATL has partnered with BMW, Daimler, Volvo and Volkswagen to offer batteries for their electric vehicles. The Chinese battery maker is also in advanced talks with Porsche and will supply battery cells for Bosch's 48-volt battery system.

The plant, which is now under construction, will enable it to collaborate closely with more European partners and respond more quickly to customer needs to help car manufacturers accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicles, said the battery maker headquartered in Ningde, Fujian province.

When completed, the 1.8 billion euro ($1.99 billion) plant will become one of the largest battery plants in Europe both in size and production capacity, covering over 60 hectares of land.

"Europe is a key market for CATL, and many of our partners are based in Europe," said Matthias Zentgraf, president of CATL's European operations, during the ongoing Frankfurt motor show. "Our new manufacturing plant in Erfurt, Germany, will allow us to combine Germany's industrial tradition and CATL's tradition of innovative battery technology in a strategically central location," he added. The company also showcased its latest cell-to-pack technology at the Frankfurt motor show.

Generally, a cluster of cells make up a module and a cluster of modules make up a pack. Ultimately, each electric vehicle is installed with one pack.

The cell-to-pack technology allows it to skip the process of battery modules and integrate cells directly into packs.

CATL said the technology, which includes more than 70 core patents, will increase mass energy density by 10-15 percent, improve volume utilization efficiency by 15-20 percent and reduce the amount of parts for battery packs by 40 percent.

Based on this brand-new product platform, and together with system improvements, the battery system's energy density can increase from 180 Wh/kg to more than 200 Wh/kg, which will allow electric vehicles to run further.

CATL also showcased other innovations that improve product performance in a series of technical workshops at the motor show.

Its ultra-fast charging battery solutions involve cells that can be charged to 80 percent in 15 minutes and ensure a driving mileage of 400 kilometers of driving mileage. The battery maker also showed a turbo charging solution that powers vehicles from 0 percent to 80 percent in only nine minutes.

The company's self-heating technology enables batteries to warm up from - 20 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius in 15 minutes. It has also extended electric vehicles' battery life to 600,000 km.

In 2018, CATL delivered batteries of 21.31 GWh worldwide, ranking first in the world, according to data from SNE Research.