Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (simplified Chinese: 宁德时代; traditional Chinese: 寧德時代; pinyin: Níngdé Shídài), abbreviated as CATL, is a Chinese battery manufacturer and technology company founded in 2011 that specializes in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems (BMS).[2] In 2022, its global market share stood at 37%.[3]

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited
Native name
宁德时代
SZSE: 300750
IndustryElectric batteries
Founded2011; 13 years ago (2011)
FounderRobin Zeng
Headquarters
Ningde, Fujian
,
China
Key people
Number of employees
33,078 (2020)[1]
Websitewww.catl.com Edit this at Wikidata

The company is headquartered in the city of Ningde in China's Fujian province. CATL has established thirteen battery manufacturing bases worldwide, namely in Ningde; Liyang, Jiangsu Province; Xining, Qinghai Province; Yibin, Sichuan Province; Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province; Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Shanghai; Xiamen, Fujian Province; Yichun, Jiangxi Province; Guiyang, Guizhou Province; Jining, Shandong Province; Luoyang, Henan Province; Erfurt, Germany and Debrecen, Hungary.[4]

History edit

CATL was founded in Ningde, which is reflected in its Chinese name ('Ningde era'). The company started as a spin-off of Amperex Technology Limited (ATL), a previous business founded by Robin Zeng in 1999. ATL initially manufactured lithium-polymer batteries based on licensed technology, but later developed more reliable battery designs themselves.[citation needed] In 2005 ATL was acquired by Japan's TDK company, but Zeng continued as a manager for ATL. In 2012, Zeng and vice-chairman Huang Shilin spun-off the EV battery operations of ATL into the new company CATL. Until 2015, former parent TDK held a 15% stake in CATL.[5]

Zeng has applied management styles of TDK and Huawei to his company.[5]

Growth edit

Due to the rise of electronic vehicles (EVs), CATL gradually became one of the leading battery providers in the world due to its early investments in EV battery technologies. China's dominant position in the battery manufacturing supply chain, including the control over rare-earth materials, provided an ideal foundation for Chinese companies like CATL to decouple from the monopoly of Western technology. It started to provide components to the supply chains of European and American vehicle manufacturers amidst competition from Panasonic and L.G. Chemical.[6]

In 2016, CATL was the world's third largest provider of EV, HEV and PHEV batteries, behind Panasonic (Sanyo) and BYD.[7] In 2017, CATL's sales of power battery system reached 11.84GWh, taking the lead worldwide for the first time. [8]

In 2018, it was announced that CATL would establish a new battery factory in Arnstadt, Thuringia, Germany.[9]

As the Chinese government started to phase out subsidies for EVs towards 2020, CATL sought to diversify its revenue overseas.[5] In June 2020, CATL's founder Zeng Yuqun announced that the company had achieved a battery for electric vehicles (EVs) rated as good for 1 million miles (or 1.6 million kilometers) and was waiting to receive orders.[10][11] In the first half of 2022, CATL ranked first in the world with a market share of 34 percent, according to SNE research.[12]

In 2022, CATL announced plans to establish a new battery factory in Debrecen, Hungary.[13]

Partnerships edit

Due to its main competitor BYD Company prioritizing battery supply to its own vehicles, CATL was able to capture partnerships with foreign automakers.[5] CATL's battery technology is currently used by electric vehicle manufacturers in the international market, and CATL collaborates with companies including BMW,[14] Daimler AG, Hyundai,[15] Honda,[16] Li Auto, NIO, PSA,[17] Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo and XPeng.[18][11] In China, its clients include BAIC Motor, Geely, GAC Group, Yutong Bus, Zhongtong Bus, Xiamen King Long, SAIC Motor and Foton Motor.[19][20]

In January 2017, CATL announced its plans to enter into a strategic partnership with Valmet Automotive, focusing its collaboration on project management, engineering and battery pack supply for EV and HEV. As part of the partnership, CATL acquired a 22% stake in Valmet Automotive.[21][22]

BMW announced in 2018 that it would buy €4 billion worth of batteries from CATL for use in the electric Mini and iNext vehicles.[9]

In July 2022, Ford announced buying batteries from CATL for use in the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150 Lightning models,[23] which subsequently raised concerns with the United States House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.[24]

In October 2022, CATL expands deal with VinFast to provide skateboard chassis for EVs and ‘enhance global footprint.’[25]

 
CATL signs MoU with HKSTP

In 2023, Ford announced a plan to build an EV battery plant in Marshall, Michigan using technology from CATL. The facility would be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford and is expected to employ about 2,500 workers. Ford says doing so would bring production to the US and reduce the import of batteries, which many vehicle manufacturers engage in. The construction was paused after lawmakers raised questions about how tax subsidies to Ford would be distributed.[26][27]

On December 7, 2023, CATL and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a CATL research center at the HKSTP with a total investment of over HKD 1.2 billion.[28]

Technology edit

According to former Tesla battery supply chain manager Vivas Kumar, CATL "are seen as the leaders of lithium iron phosphate battery (LFP battery) technology". The company employs the cell-to-pack method to reduce the inactive weight of its batteries. It increases volume utilization rate by 15% to 20%, doubles the production efficiency and reduces the number of parts for a battery pack by 40%, while the energy density of a battery pack jumps from 140 to 150 Wh/Kg to 200 Wh/Kg.[29]

According to Kumar, unlike competitors such as LG Chem or SK Innovation, CATL is more willing to adapt outside technology, as opposed to applying a full in-house design.[5]

In 2021 the company unveiled a sodium-ion battery for the automotive market.[30] A battery recycling facility is planned to recover some of the materials.[31]

In 2022, CATL's Yibin manufacturing plant was certified as the world's first zero-carbon battery factory.[32]

According to 36Kr, CATL prioritizes cost and operational efficiency over innovation for new products and production techniques. In production, standardization helps CATL reduce wastage, stabilize quality of products, and offer cheaper replacements for end users, but also restricts the company's ability to develop products for clients to match their designs.[18]

In 2023, CATL introduced its M3P battery, offering a 15% increase in energy density, reaching 210 Wh/kg. The battery replaces the iron in the lithium iron phosphate battery with a combination of magnesium, zinc, and aluminum.[33]

Later that year, the company announced its Shenxing LFP battery.[34] The cathode of Shenxing LFP is fully nano-crystallized, which accelerates ion movement and the response to charging signals. The anode's second-generation fast ion ring technology increases intercalation channels and shortens intercalation distance. Its superconducting electrolyte formula reduces viscosity and improves conductivity. A new separator film reduces resistance. At room temperature, Shenxing can charge from 0 to 80% in 10 minutes and in just 30 minutes at -10 °C, maintains 0-100 kph performance at low temperatures. Safety is enhanced by using a safe coating for the electrolyte and the separator. A real-time fault testing system allows safe and fast refueling.[34]

Security concerns edit

In December 2023, Duke Energy disconnected CATL batteries from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune due to security concerns.[35][36] The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 prohibited US defense funding for CATL products.[37][38]

See also edit

References edit

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  2. ^ "CATL Company Profile". catlbattery.com. Archived from the original on 25 February 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
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External links edit