CALB aims to become a top battery cell maker very soon

CALB battery cell production capacity roadmap
CALB battery cell production capacity roadmap

CALB (China Aviation Lithium Battery) aims to become a top battery cell maker very soon, but right now world’s biggest EV battery cell maker is CATL by a large margin, as we can see from the Q1 2021 results below.


Global electric vehicle battery application in Q1 2021

  1. CATL: 15,1 GWh (31,5 %)
  2. LG Energy Solution: 9,8 GWh (20,5 %)
  3. Panasonic: 8 GWh (16,7 %)
  4. BYD: 3,2 GWh (6,8 %)
  5. Samsung SDI: 2,5 GWh (5,3 %)
  6. SK Innovation: 2,4 GWh (5,1 %)
  7. CALB: 1,3 GWh (2,7 %)
  8. AESC: 1 GWh (2,1 %)
  9. Guoxuan: 0,9 GWh (1,9 %)
  10. PEVE: 0,6 GWh (1,3 %)


While the Japanese and Korean companies are slowly losing ground, multiple Chinese companies are aiming to reach the top 3 in few years.


BYD, CALB and Guoxuan are the Chinese battery cell makers better positioned to reach the top 3 in a year or two.


Here is CALB’s battery cell production capacity roadmap.

  • 2020: 30 GWh
  • 2021: 100 GWh
  • 2022: 200 GWh
  • 2025: above 300 GWh


Notice that 200 GWh represents 4 million battery packs with 50 kWh each.

Regarding energy density, during current year CALB expects to reach 225-240 Wh/kg at the battery pack level, enabling electric cars to achieve a NEDC range of 800-1.000 km (around 600-750 km in WLTP).


While the previous uncontested market leaders – Korean and Japanese battery cell makers – are still focused solely on high energy density chemistries (NCM/NCA/NCMA), Chinese companies can also produce cheaper cobalt-free batteries in large quantities, thanks to the LFP (LiFePO4) chemistry.

However, this advantage of Chinese battery cell makers can be short-lived, since other battery cell makers are also expected to produce their own cobalt-free batteries anytime soon. I expect LG Chem to announce the introduction LNMO battery cells before 2022, to regain its position as world’s biggest battery cell maker.

Some published research papers suggest that LNMO is the cobalt-free battery chemistry Koreans and Europeans are developing. Moreover, Tesla and Volkswagen already stated that LNMO is expected to become the battery chemistry used for high volume production, relegating LFP to entry-level versions and NCMA to premium niches.


Battery chemistries comparison by Tesla

Battery chemistries comparison by Tesla



More info:

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.

7 Responses

  1. Rok says:

    I wonder when first EU-based factories will come to this list, such as Nortvolt and reveal they preferred chemistries. Domestic production of cells (with possibly domestic raw materials) will democratise transportation and hopefully make it more affordable.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Northvolt’s initial plan was to make NCM battery cells, I don’t know if it was revised already.

      • Maximilian Holland says:

        I asked Peter Carlsson this when I interviewed him a year ago, and he was pretty sure at that time that they would not be considering the LF(M)P options, but perhaps they will become more flexible once their initial operations are well established.

        • Pedro Lima says:

          Thanks Max.

          I think that LFP will remain mostly a “Chinese” technology and LNMO will be the cobalt-free chemistry adopted by Koreans and Europeans.

  2. Marcel says:

    Interesting to see the competition in the battery space. It looks like battery supply will increase rapidly due to this competition, a lot more rapidly than most legacy car makers have been willing to admit to.

    one question I have, is if CALB’s roadmap is to already have 30Gwh in place and 100gwh ready for this year, how do they only produce 1.3 GWh in the recent quarter?

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