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Published on April 14th, 2018 | by Tim Dixon


Chinese Battery Giant CATL To Become #1 EV Battery Producer By 2020?

April 14th, 2018 by  

Editor’s note: This article follows up on our report last week that Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) was recently approved to hold an initial public offering (IPO) that targets raising $2 billion or so. Tim Dixon, based in China, dug into this topic a bit more for a story on EV Obsession. We’re reposting that story below.

Contemporary Amperex Technology’s Initial Public Offering

Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) has been making waves in the news as of late, now with a $2 billion IPO target. CATL, which is the largest battery maker for buses in China and is China’s largest automotive battery maker, has grown on the back of the country’s massive investment into the rapid development and deployment of electric vehicles.


CATL is looking to expand its operations via an initial public offering (IPO) valued at $2 billion (13.1 billion yuan, actually). Bloomberg reported the CATL IPO in February 2018, stating that it is for a 10% stake which would value the entire company at $20 billion in total. The CATL IPO was actually already reported back in November of 2017 on CleanTechnica based on an initial article published by Reuters.

The IPO should allow CATL to finance its second battery factory, which would be near CATL headquarters in Ningde, Fujian Province, China. That should significantly expand its operations and abilities, which are already some of the world’s largest.

New Finances Means New Factory


The new factory’s planned annual production capacity is 24 GWh by 2020, which is smaller than the Tesla Gigafactory 1’s initial target of 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2020, but CATL already has 17.5 GWh of battery production capacity. Bloomberg indicates that this would give CATL the biggest li-ion battery production capacity in the world, but it depends on how fast the factory is completed and how quickly other manufactures invest and build. Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 2020 battery production capacity is a big variable, as it was indicated that the capacity might be much larger by 2020 … but quickly increasing battery production for the Model 3 has been a bit of a challenge.

As reported before, CATL is leading the electric bus battery market in China, but it serves a much broader range of industries than that. It produces batteries for a number of Chinese and foreign auto manufacturers, and it also produces stationary storage products.

The Mystery Behind The News & Growth

CATL’s batteries seem to be primarily focused on prismatic cell formats using LiFePo (lithium iron phosphate) and NMC (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) chemistries, and they have found massive applications in China’s growing EV marketplace. This fast growth is supported by government subsidies and the government making sure that these subsidies only apply to Chinese-manufactured cells.

CARL by peter schwierz

CATL batteries by Peter Schwierz

CATL’s competitive advantage, which allowed it to grow to the #1 position in its domestic market, is unknown, as press and attention on its products has been limited to local press and a few international publications. Details have not been very expansive, so it’s hard to genuinely understand why this producer leads others in China. However, some information on its battery roadmap was leaked and recently covered on CleanTechnica. Check out a few charts from that below.

CATL Keeps on Rolling

The recent news coming from CATL keeps flowing. New deals and plans are hitting the news. So stay tuned for the next big announcement.

Sources: Bloomberg, EV Obsession, CleanTechnica, Reuters, and CleanTechnica

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About the Author

When not researching the Chinese electric car market, I am teaching in China. My interest in sustainable development started in University and it led me to work with Tesla Europe in the Supercharger team. I'm interested in science fiction, D&D, and travel. You can follow me on Twitter @TimDixon3.

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