Battery Maker CATL Opens First North American Center In Detroit

DEC 16 2018 BY MARK KANE 12

New EVs with CATL batteries coming to U.S. “very soon”

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) is opening its first North American sales and service facility in Detroit.

The Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer says that wants to strengthen its presence in the U.S. and the new subsidiary will serve local automotive industry.

According to CATL, several US-based businesses are going to launch product with its batteries “very soon”.

“The Company has established partnerships with several US-based businesses that will release products into the market very soon.”

“CATL currently supplies the North American market with core battery technologies for EVs and energy storage solutions. The new CATL facility in Detroit will allow the Company to improve the supply of lithium-ion batteries to the US auto market and to support the expansion of EV manufacturing.”

CATL shipped 11.84 GWh of batteries in 2017. This year similar value was achieved in the first nine months.

Allan Wang, General Manager, North America at CATL said:

“2017 was the best year yet for EV sales in the US and around the world. Recent surges in demand require greater innovation in the manufacture and supply of parts and services to support vehicle electrification. Our new Detroit subsidiary, our first in North America, will allow us to serve local needs. By locating close to our customers, we will be able to better understand their needs and improve our global supply chain. We look forward to providing more tailored customer service to our US-based partners and are continuously looking for new partnerships and opportunities in the local market to further the adoption of EVs and other e-mobility solutions.”

More about CATL:

CATL Cell Family

The Company has entered a series of partnership agreements with world-renowned car manufacturers including BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, and Jaguar Land Rover, taking the production of EVs to new heights or safety and efficiency by leveraging the advantages of its market-leading technology:

  • Safe performance: Featuring a complete battery safety management system to improve performance, CATL products have passed more than 270 abuse tests, including active and passive protection tests to guarantee user safety.
  • Energy density: CATL’s battery systems have achieved an energy density of 160Wh/kg, and are continuously improving. By 2020, the Company expects to achieve a single cell energy density of 300Wh/kg and a system energy density of 240Wh/kg.
  • Battery life-cycle: CATL has been able to identify several key factors affecting the life of a battery cell and has taken measures to extend its life as much as possible. For example, CATL’s long-life endurance battery can achieve up to 15,000 cycles without the need for lithium titanate material, reducing life-cycle costs.
  • Fast Charging: Using NCM or LFP materials, CATL has discovered that it is possible to achieve a 90% charge in 15 minutes. This technology has since been incorporated as standard and is being mass produced by CATL.

In May 2018 the McKinsey Electric Vehicle Index reported that global sales of new EVs had surpassed 1 million units for the first time in 2017. In the US, this represented a rise in fully electric car sales of 47%. According to forecasts published by Energy Innovation, EVs will make up to 65% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2050, with EV sales reaching up to 75% by 2050.

CATL’s mission is to create the safest and most reliable lithium-ion EV batteries and energy storage solutions that appeal to a global market. The opening of its fourth international subsidiary represents a further milestone for the company and a marked expansion in CATL’s global footprint driving new energy innovation throughout the world.

CATL Smart and Automated Plant

Categories: Battery Tech

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12 Comments on "Battery Maker CATL Opens First North American Center In Detroit"

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CATL is very aggressive. They are #2 behind Panasonic, but were growing much faster until Model 3 production finally took off. The gap should narrow again late next year as Tesla growth stalls.

I expect Panasonic to be #1 for full year 2019 but CATL to take the crown in Q4. BYD should remain #3. LG has some crazy growth goals, but I don’t think they have enough customers.

Why would Tesla demand slow? The seem to have timed the country releases to maintain a moderate level of demand.

Another Euro point of view

I know that people betting on demand for Tesla cars leveling off were more often wrong than right but I would not be surprised that in case there would be no cheaper Model 3 versions than USD 45k we could see Model 3 sales figures still grow a bit while European and Chinese market are provided with plentiful Model 3 then plateauing until Model Y starts to be distributed. Like we saw for Model S and X. For example in the European market, I am usually a bit pessimistic but still I do not see a EUR 55k electric sedan sold in huge numbers, it’s just too expensive except for few limited wealthy markets like Norway.

Tesla produced almost 80k cars in Q3 for a ~220% y/y growth rate. They will not grow 220% next year, that’d be 250k+ cars in Q3 of 2019, so by definition the growth rate will be much lower. More like 25-30%.

At 220% Tesla/Panasonic widened their lead over CATL, but at 25-30% that lead will shrink quickly because CATL plans to continue their 100%+ growth rate. No guarantee they will, of course, but they’re signing deal and building factories.

I wonder how Americans will look back on this time period in history where we stood flat-footed and didn’t respond with our own domestic battery research and development drive with our own domestic cell producers. Especially when battery technology begins to expand to include not only transportation but all energy storage. It’s understandable that we fell asleep during the first couple of decades of energy storage for consumer electronics but it’s no excuse that we are just not even entering the race now that it’s obvious that all energy storage for humanity is moving in this direction. It’s sort of like how it was understandable that the World at first didn’t pay much attention to the first 3 or so decades of the horseless carriage since it was a very expensive hand built machine that wasn’t very practical and likely didn’t make huge profits. But then to continue to ignore the importance of the automobile when Henry Ford began the assembly line and mass production of cars selling them ordinary people by a factor of 10 greater than ever before is weird. And what makes future domestic energy storage even more tenuous is the fact all of the companies that… Read more »

“Fast Charging: Using NCM or LFP materials, CATL has discovered that it is possible to achieve a 90% charge in 15 minutes. This technology has since been incorporated as standard and is being mass produced by CATL.”

That’s some BS, right there.

That’s probably a number on the cell level. And that number might be based on an industry standard degradation curve. Automotive applications might be more conservative. Obviously battery packaging and thermal management considerations will drive how fast an overall pack can charge.

It’s straight from a CATL press release, and as a battery company they’re as proven as it gets. I think there has to be some truth.

I hope they start making consumer electronics batteries with that tech. 50% in 10 min would be sweet for so many things…

Phones are getting close, this one did 50% in 15 minutes:
https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/10/10/17958648/oppo-super-vooc-fast-charging-find-x-lamborghini-edition

CATL’s 90% in 15 minutes is probably a lab test under perfect conditions. But in general charging speeds are improving at a good clip. Much more so than energy density.

It is REAL name is NOT ‘Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd’, but ‘CHINA Amperex Technology’.

What diffrence does that make.

Where in Detroit is the facility located?