The first production line at CATL’s plant in Thuringia, Germany, went into operation and the installation and commissioning of the remaining lines are in full swing.
Chinese power battery giant CATL has achieved mass production of battery cells at its first overseas plant, marking an important milestone in its development in the global market.
CATL’s plant in Thuringia, Germany, achieved mass production of lithium-ion battery cells on schedule, with the first cells coming off the first production line in the G2 facility, the company announced today.
Installation and commissioning of the rest of the plant’s production lines are in full swing to achieve capacity ramp-up, the company said.
The cells passed all the tests CATL’s global products are required to pass, meaning the company has the ability to supply European customers locally, it said.
CATL is in full swing for the plant’s capacity ramp-up, which will be a priority for the European team next year, said Matthias Zentgraf, president of the company’s European region.
CATL plans to invest a total of 1.8 billion euros in the plant, which has a planned capacity of 14 GWh and will provide a total of 2,000 local jobs in the future.
It will have two main facilities: G1, a plant purchased from another company to assemble cells into modules, and G2, a new plant to produce cells.
Construction of the plant started in 2019, and cell module production began in the G1 plant in the third quarter of 2021.
In April this year, the plant received a license for 8 GWh of cell capacity for the G2 facility.
In addition to the plant in Germany, CATL announced on August 12 that it will build a new battery production site in Hungary, which will be its second plant in Europe and will produce cells and modules for European automakers.
In late September, Bloomberg quoted Zentgraf as saying that CATL was considering a third plant in Europe.
“We are thinking about this, but currently there is no clear decision or activity,” Zentgraf said, adding that internal discussions are already underway.
“We will not build a third plant if there is no prospect for the demand volume,” Zentgraf said in a video call from the IAA Transport conference in Hanover, Germany, according to Bloomberg.
In addition, CNBC in September quoted Li Xiaoning, executive president of overseas commercial application at CATL, as saying the company was evaluating expanding its battery swap products to Europe.
“I would say this will start in China this year. We will step by step check the overseas footprint of EVOGO,” Li said.
EVOGO is CATL’s battery swap brand, announced on January 22, with the goal of providing easy-to-replace standardized battery blocks for fast replenishment of electric vehicles.
CATL is the world’s largest power battery maker, with a 37.6 percent share in October, according to data released on December 2 by South Korean market research firm SNE Research.
This article was first published by Phate Zhang on CnEVPost, a website focusing on new energy vehicle news from China.