Chinese power battery giant CATL has opened a regional subsidiary in South Korea, with offices in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korean media outlet The Elec reported today.
This is CATL’s fifth regional branch outside of China, after Japan, Germany, the United States and France, and will start with a regional manager and two employees, the report said.
CATL may have set up the subsidiary to support Hyundai Motor in supplying its lithium iron phosphate technology, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company won a battery order from Hyundai earlier this year for more than half of its future electric car models. It is expected to supply Hyundai with a similar number of batteries as LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation, the report said.
On October 27, CATL signed an agreement with Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai’s parts division, to license the latter’s cell-to-pack (CTP) technology.
CATL will support Hyundai Mobis’ supply of CTP-related battery products in Korea and globally, the power cell giant said in a statement at the time.
CTP technology is highly efficient and integrated, and is a technology that allows for the integration of cells into battery packs without the need for modules.
CATL said the technology can increase the system energy density of battery packs, simplify manufacturing processes and save costs.
At the end of September, NIO announced the launch of a 75-kWh standard range version of its hybrid battery pack to replace the previous 70-kWh version.
The battery uses CATL’s next-generation cell-to-pack (CTP) technology, which simplifies manufacturing and assembly by 10 percent, increases capacity utilization by 5 percent, and increases energy density by 14 percent to 142 Wh/kg, NIO said at the time.
CATL is the largest supplier of power batteries in China, with data released earlier this month by the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance showing that in October, CATL ranked first in China with 7.69 GWh of power batteries installed, holding 49.9 percent of the market.
This article was first published by Phate Zhang on CnEVPost, a website focusing on new energy vehicle news from China.