Daimler Truck and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) are expanding their existing partnership related to batteries for electric trucks, started in 2019.
The original deal was about CATL's lithium-ion cell modules for upcoming Daimler's series-produced electric trucks (Mercedes-Benz eActros, Mercedes-Benz eEconic, Freightliner eCascadia, Freightliner eM2) from 2021 onwards.
The new, expanded partnership is about the joint development of sophisticated truck-focused batteries and battery supply beyond 2030.
Specifically, the deal includes battery supply for the all-new, long-range Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul truck, scheduled for market launch in 2024. This particular semi is expected to offer a range of up to 500 km (311 miles).
According to the press release, CATL's batteries offer high energy density (undisclosed), ultra-long cycle life as well as fast-charging ability.
"CATL will be the supplier of lithium-ion battery packs for the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul battery-electric truck, which is planned to be ready for series production in 2024. The supply will go beyond 2030. The batteries will combine high energy density with ultra-long cycle life as well as fast-charging ability to meet the unique requirements of battery-electric long-haul trucks.
In addition, the companies intend to jointly design and develop even more advanced next-generation battery cells and packs for truck specific applications, with a focus on high modularity and scalability in order to support different truck applications and flexible compatibility with future e-truck models."
In a separate press release on the topic, issued by CATL, there is info about the lithium-ion LFP chemistry that withstand 1,500 cycles without capacity fade, combined with the cell-to-pack (CTP) technology.
"Making continuous innovations across the chemistry structure system, structure system, extreme manufacturing and business model, CATL is providing the most cutting-edge and valuable products to its customers and consumers. Its unique battery solutions for commercial vehicles featuring an LFP chemistry system with zero fading within 1500 cycles and innovative cell-to-pack (CTP) technology ensure that vehicle batteries have high-energy density, ultra-long cycle lives, high reliability and great cost efficiency."
Daimler Truck intends to offer series-produced electric vehicles in its main sales regions (Europe, the United States, and Japan) starting in early 2022. By 2027, the company would like to supplement the lineup with series-produced hydrogen-based fuel-cell vehicles. Let's note here that the first FCV is planned three years after the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul truck.
So far, Daimler Truck's EVs covered a total of well over ten million kilometers driven by battery-electric test and series-produced trucks and buses with customers worldwide.
The lineup of EV trucks include:
- Fuso eCanter - light-duty trucks in use since 2017 (small scale of more than 200 units deployed)
- Mercedes-Benz eActros - series production from the second half of 2021
- Mercedes-Benz eEconic - low-floor version of eActros, scheduled for 2022
- Freightliner eCascadia - production is scheduled to start in mid-2022
- Freightliner eM2- production is scheduled to start in late 2022
- Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul - from 2024
Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG:
“Partnerships are vital for us to deliver on our commitment to the Paris Agreement and our ultimate goal of achieving CO2-neutral transport on the roads, on which we are working at full speed. Expanding and strengthening our strong collaboration with CATL will play a key role as we accelerate our electrification activities and lead the way to zero emissions in the truck industry. We will launch a wide range of customer-oriented, innovative series-produced electric trucks from 2021 onwards.”
Dr. Robin Zeng, Founder, Chairman and CEO of CATL:
“We are very happy to strengthen the existing partnership with Daimler Truck AG based on our shared vision in e-mobility. With CATL’s innovative technology in EV batteries and Daimler Truck’s deep expertise in the heavy truck industry, we believe our strong global partnership will further enhance Daimler Truck AG’s market position on the e-mobility stage and accelerate to drive towards carbon neutrality.”
Not only Daimler Truck is interested in CATL's bateries. In 2020, the passenger car and van arm of the group* - Mercedes-Benz - has signed up for the lithium-ion cells for the Mercedes-Benz EQS.
* - Daimler Truck AG has ambitions to become an independent company from Daimler.
CATL must offer a state-of-the-art battery NCM 811 chemistry for cars, as the EQS will have WLTP range of up to 770 km (479 miles) with a 107.8 kWh battery (usable capacity).
Already in 2020 the two partners were interested in CTP solution:
"The agreement covers the full range of battery technologies, from cells across modules for Mercedes-Benz Cars to entire battery systems for Mercedes-Benz Vans in promising innovative technology configurations. This also includes the CATL cell-to-pack (CTP) design, which eliminates conventional modules and integrates the cells directly into the battery."