CATL expects to introduce NCM 811 battery cells next year

CATL Energy Density Development Roadmap

The low-cobalt content and high energy density NCM 811 battery cells for electric cars were expected to be introduced this year by the South Korean battery cell makers LG Chem and SK Innovation. Unfortunately, a few months after the initial announcements these plans were postponed.

Now the Chinese battery cell makers will try to introduce the NCM 811 cathode technology first to gain competitive advantage.

Not only BYD is aiming to introduce the NCM 811 battery cells for EVs next year, CATL has also the same goal.

Current CATL battery cells for EVs are NCM 523, which means that the cathode besides lithium also contains nickel, cobalt and manganese in a composition ratio of 5:2:3. The scarcity and high price of cobalt is a problem for the mass production of electric cars and remember that Volkswagen signed a huge battery supply deal with CATL for the VW Neo. With the introduction of NCM 811 battery cells the cobalt content per kWh drops more than half, because the energy density increases.


Volkswagen Neo


Volkswagen says that the all electric Volkswagen Neo will have a similar price to a high-spec Volkswagen Golf. Considering that the supermini Volkswagen Golf is the best selling car in Europe, the Neo will likely be very successful – if not production constrained.


Anyway, let’s see CATL’s goals regarding cells and modules.

CATL: pouch vs prismatic battery cells


Those prismatic cells seem a perfect replacement for the ones currently inside the BMW i3… Maybe CATL is trying to replace Samsung SDI as BMW’s battery supplier.

CATL Cell Production Program Roadmap


Do you want to guess which cells will be used in the Volkswagen Neo?

CATL Module Production Program Roadmap


It’s curious that the modules for battery electric cars (BEV1 and BEV2) don’t have cells in parallel, only in series.

Anyway, a 71 kWh (96 x 3,7 V x 200 Ah) battery would be great for the Volkswagen Neo don’t you think? This is just a guess, but anything less would be a major disappointment when compared to the Hyundai Kona Electric or even the upcoming Nissan Leaf e-Plus.


Thanks Chris. and Dominic for the heads up.

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.

8 Responses

  1. Richard P says:

    I agree, 71 kWh would be great and a direct competitor to Kona, maybe even Model 3. But I am almost certain that VW is still not ready to think big, just look at the e-Golf and it’s mediocre low voltage and lack of TMS.
    If I am wrong, this would be the biggest surprise in the European market that hasn’t produced a single EV that could even match a Tesla, regardless of price. Zoe has a small battery, i3 has still reserved space for ReX, iPace has poor efficiency and loads at less than 80 kW, effectively half the speed of a Tesla, …. failure after failure.

  2. Ricardo says:

    Indeed, the Neo should shine in Europe. Right size, right format, close to the right price apparently. And that huge contract seems to indicate they want to sell more than a half dozen per year. Let’s wait shall we? Anyway, if not VW, I’m sure someone else will be doing it sooner rather than later. And we deserve it too. We have been waiting for it since 2011 now. In the meanwhile, the Kona is looking good.

  3. Karsten Rasmussen says:

    Richard P., Could you elaborate on that iPace efficiency issue, please? Who documented it?

  4. Chris. says:

    Thanks for the article, FYI, I put the link for this CATL roadmap on this article on 31 July :

  5. Pajda says:

    Pedro, Chris. thank you very much for this informations/document.

  6. Chris. says:

    No problem i added the link also on a recent article on Insideevs few days ago to share the roadmap of CATL.
    My assumption is that the MEB platform will use cell around 150/160Ah to be compliant with multisourcing strategy between SDI and CATL.
    See below the last status of SDI roadmap :
    “At present, Samsung SDI’s third-generation power battery energy density is 550 wh / L, has been mass-produced. According to the Samsung SDI plan, the energy density of the 3.5th generation battery products expected to be mass-produced in 2019 can reach 630 wh/L. At the same time, Samsung SDI is also accelerating the development of the fourth generation battery and the fifth generation battery, the energy density can reach 700 wh / L (equivalent to 270-280 wh / kg) and 800 wh / L (equivalent to 300 wh / kg), respectively. It is expected to be mass-produced around 2021~2022 and after 2023.”

    Previous data on SDI roadmap with the gen1 to gen6:

    630wh/l means cell with ~150Ah/160Ah / 3.7V on VDA BEV2 prismatic size (115x173x45mm)
    -0.9L / cell -> 567Wh / cell

    Source :

    We can see that the value on energy density is similar between CATL (660 Wh / L) and SDI (630 Wh / L) on prismatic cell for 2019.

  7. harison says:

    Pedro, the content of this article includes the proprietary information relating to CATL ‘s battery product. Our logo “CATL” and our remark ‘CATL Confidential’ is indicated on every page of the article. It has infringed the copyright of our company, ie Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (“CATL”). We hereby request you to remove the article from your website immediately. Thank you for your cooperation!

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