Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) is on a serious roll – China’s biggest battery builder issued a successful IPO on the Shenzhen stock exchange earlier this month, and has been announcing new supply contracts left and right – Daimler, Honda, Nissan/Renault, SAAB successor NEVS and EV startup Byton are now customers, and there are rumors that the company has been talking with Apple as well.
The latest news is a contract with BMW worth just over a billion euros ($1.16 billion). According to BMW spokesman Glenn Schmidt, the deal will allow CATL to build a factory to produce cells in Europe – the company is scouting potential locations, and the German state of Thuringia has pitched a site near Erfurt.
BMW’s strategy is to build its own battery modules and packs, and depend on suppliers for battery cells. It’s currently getting its cells from Samsung SDI.
CATL is primarily using LiFePo and NCM chemistries in prismatic cell formats. So far, most of its production has been going to electric buses and plug-in hybrids. The company currently has a production capacity of 17.5 GWh, and plans to expand that to 24 GWh by 2020.