CATL expects to become the biggest battery cell manufacturer

Battery cell production targets by manufacturer

CATL already has small battery supply contracts with Volkswagen and BMW, nonetheless this battery cell maker wants more. The Chinese battery cell maker wants to become the main supplier of some European automakers, such as BMW and Volkswagen.


In two recent press releases, regarding its presence at the 67th IAA, in Frankfurt, Germany, CATL made some interesting statements:

“Currently, CATL is competing with several battery suppliers for new VW MEB electric vehicle platform.”


With the Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB), Volkswagen expects to become the e-mobility global leader, nevertheless the battery cell supplier isn’t chosen yet and that’s why CATL is trying hard to seal the deal. CATL predicts that it will be able to produce 50 GWh worth of battery cells by 2020.


Battery costs roadmap by Volkswagen


Furthermore, CATL also expects to convince other European automakers to chose its battery cells and that’s why it’ll open offices not only in Germany – to target BMW and Volkswagen -, but also in France – to lure Renault and PSA.


“At this great auto show, CATL also announced its new plan of opening a new branch office in Paris, France, which will be launched at late September or early October. By opening offices in Munich, Berlin, Wolfsburg, as well as the new branch in Paris, CATL keeps developing global footprint and has already set up its world-wide network for understanding local market and offering local service to international clients.”


While other big Chinese battery cell makers, such as BYD or Lishen disappoint in the energy density field, the same can’t be said about CATL.


CATL battery cell overview


Anyway, it seems that some of the figures available at CATL’s website are outdated, considering that the company now says to have battery cells with an energy density of 270 Wh/kg, which make them cutting-edge technology.


“In addition, CATL will be featuring its five technologies at the booth. These include solutions which fulfill different requirements that automotive manufacturers (OEMs) have voiced, e.g. battery modules that can be fully charged in about 10 minutes (EnerSpeedy) or which come with an extra-long battery life-span(EnerDura) which is as long as 15 years or 15,000 cycles. Moreover, CATL’s EnerMagic batteries distinguish themselves by having the highest available energy density of all CATL cells, up to 270Wh/kg. The EnerClimate modules are IP68 qualified and feature a high level of resistance to dust and water, whereas EnerLasting is the most robust of CATL’s five technologies. Taken together, they are the solutions of choice for a number of renowned OEMs globally.”


CATL product range


To sum up, CATL seems to be the most immediate threat to the privileged relation that South Korean battery cell makers have with European automakers. Furthermore, there is an effort by the European Commission to establish an Airbus-style consortium for battery production in Europe by European companies (including automakers). I won’t be surprised if the German BASF – the largest chemical producer in the world – transforms itself to become a leading battery cell maker in a not so distant future, since it has the resources and knowledge that are needed.



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Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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Marcel G
3 years ago

So global battery production is set to increase from ~28GWh to ~170GWh by 2020? That would make a huge difference to EV pricing, wouldn’t it?

Luis Oliveira
3 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

My thoughts are that we must achieve at least 2800GWh if we plan to replace around 50% of ICE cars with EVs till 2025). So, despite all this evolution, 170GWh by 2020 seams a quite slow evolution. I really hope some startups come up to reinforce this game…!!

3 years ago

Tesla figure in the first chart is outdated.
They now aim at 35 GWh of cell production in 2018 (50 GWh of packs).
For 2020, Musk mentioned a possible output of 105 GWh of cells and 150 GWh of packs.
We’ll see.

Of course, the more the better !!

3 years ago

This seems to be missing all 3 new/planned Hungarian li-ion battery plants (Samsung SDI, SK Innovation, GS Yuasa)

3 years ago

Interesting. Whoever dominates the EV battery market will ultimately get a huge leverage over passenger car manufacturers. It would be like owning the engine.

3 years ago

Hello Pedro,
Please find below a presentation from the CTO of CAPL.
You can see the roadmap (next cell with the evolution of energy density).