Tesla has a real challenger here

More details appear on the Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) lithium-ion battery plant in Thuringia, Germany announced by the way of a €4 billion (€4.7 billion) deal with BMW.

Visualisation of CATL battery plant in Thuringia, Germany

Visualisation of CATL battery plant in Thuringia, Germany

The new factory will have capacity of 14 GWh annually, which is more than the 11.84 GWh that CATL sold in 2017.

CATL's sales in 2015 and 2016 was 2.19 GWh and 6.8 GWh.

Full-scale production could suffice for some quarter of a million of long-range electric cars.

The investment through 2022 is to be €240 million ($281 million). The plant is to be located on a 70-hectare site in the industrial area Erfurt Cross.

It's expected that besides BMW, CATL will supply batteries for Daimler and Volkswagen. The list of customers in China is much longer:

  • BAIC
  • SAIC
  • Geely
  • Changan
  • GAC
  • Great Wall
  • DFM
  • NIO
  • Yutong Bus
  • Zhongtong Bus
  • King Long Motor
  • CRRC

An important part of the investment will be battery R&D:

"Europe is one of CATL’s key regions for its strategic growth. With the opening of the production facility in Germany, the company underlines the importance of the German market. The decision for Germany fell, among other things, to:

  • Proximity to the customer, to understand local market requirements and to respond more quickly to customer needs;
  • Offering BMW, Daimler and VW locally produced solutions; and
  • European knowledge in battery manufacturing.

The plant in Thuringia is planned as an independent company with production, research and development as well as logistics."

Source: Green Car Congress

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