Battery supplier Tesla LFP installs new technology in Shanghai

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Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, better known as CATL, has invested 100 million RMB (AU $ 21 million) to establish a new Shanghai-based automotive science and technology company.

CATL – well known for supplying lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells to companies like Tesla and Nio – on Tuesday established CATL (Shanghai) New Energy Technology company, with registered capital of RMB 100 million, according to the Chinese trade information platform Qichacha.

Formed in 2011 and based in the Chinese coastal city of Ningde, CATL is today the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries and supplies automakers such as Tesla, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nio.

According to energy analysts Wood Mackenzie, “CATL currently leads the world in lithium-ion cell production, holding 490 GWh of total lithium-ion cell manufacturing capacity. The company is also a large consumer of lithium.

Earlier this year, it was reported that CATL was planning to start supplying solid-state battery cells with a density of over 350Wh / kg – starting with a short-term delivery of 200Wh / kg or even 230Wh. / kg, before increasing to as much as 350Wh / kg and 400Wh / kg long-term.

The news came less than a year after CATL announced it was able to start manufacturing electric vehicle batteries that can last over a million kilometers, or over 1.6 million kilometers.

Around the same time, CATL received a strong seal of approval from the father of lithium-ion batteries, Sir John Goodenough, who said the progress of CATL’s new 21C lab could significantly benefit the company. :

“As an industry leader in lithium-ion battery technology, the advancements made by members of the 21C Lab can significantly benefit society,” wrote Goodenough, currently president of the Virginia H. Cockrell Engineering Department. Centennial at the University of Austin, Texas.

“I believe that with the establishment of the 21C Lab, CATL can introduce more inventions in battery technology that will allow the world to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”

At the end of June, CATL extended its battery supply contract with Tesla until 2025, promising to continue supplying Tesla’s gigafactory in Shanghai with its cobalt-free lithium-iron-phosphate cells which are less energy dense than cells. NCA supplied by Panasonic, but which can be regularly charged to 100%.

“The agreement signifies further recognition by Tesla of the product quality and production capacity of [our company], and will help strengthen the long-term cooperative relationship between the company and Tesla, ”CATL said in the statement.

And last month, CATL unveiled new battery technology that runs on sodium rather than lithium. Despite having an energy density of just 160Wh / kg – still relatively high, but lower than that of CATL’s LFP battery cells – a sodium-ion battery can charge to 80% in just 15 minutes.

“Sodium-ion technology has long been touted for commercial battery use due to the low cost and high abundance of sodium compared to lithium, and CATL producing large-scale sodium-ion batteries shows that the attractiveness of the technology is happening sooner rather than later, ”said Wood Max Reid, Mackenzie research analyst.

“The lower energy of the sodium-ion cells suggests that the technology may be more suited to stationary energy storage applications which are less restrictive, while the unveiling of battery packs combining both sodium-ion cells and lithium-ion could indicate a compromise in terms of performance. for low-cost electric vehicles, with the potential to disrupt the mass market.



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