Following CATL's announcement about the new 100 GWh/year battery factory in Hungary, Mercedes-Benz announced an expansion of the battery supply partnership with the Chinese company.
Mercedes-Benz and CATL have been working together since 2020 and the scale of the partnership will only go up, as Mercedes-Benz will be the first partner to receive battery cells from the upcoming Hungarian plant with "the largest initial order volume" (the exact number has not been disclosed).
Mercedes-Benz announced in July 2021 that it would like to go fully electric by the end of the decade (at least if the market conditions will allow), which will require more than 200 GWh of battery cells annually.
Such a high volume of batteries is expected to be provided by a total of eight local lithium-ion battery plants (including four in Europe), which means 25 GWh per factory on average.
CATL's plant in Hungary is expected to provide battery cells for the next-generation Mercedes-Benz models. We don't know the details, but considering that some of the Mercedes-Benz models (like EQA, EQB) will be equipped with LFP batteries (starting in 2024), it might be it. CATL specializes in LFP chemistry.
Another battery cell provided will be the Automotive Cells Company (ACC) - a battery joint venture, between Stellantis and Total, as Mercedes-Benz joined the duo in 2021.
Of course, Mercedes-Benz is using also batteries from other battery manufacturers around the world, but those two were specifically mentioned as the crucial partners in Europe.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, CTO responsible for development and procurement said:
“This new state-of-the art European CATL plant in Hungary is another milestone for the scale-up of our EV production together with our key partners. With CATL we have a technology-leader as our partner to provide us – as the first and biggest customer of the new plant’s initial capacity – with top-notch CO2 neutral battery cells for our next generation EVs in Europe, hence following our local-to-local approach in procurement. We’re proud to see our Ambition 2039 supported by CATL’s commitment to CO2 neutral production in Hungary.”