BMW signs billion-dollar battery order with China’s CATL

by Denis Gurskiy

BMW is the newest automaker to strike a deal with Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) who has been on a serious roll.

CATL who recently issued a successful IPO has been announcing new supply contracts nonstop- Daimler, Nissan/Renault, Honda, SAAB successor NEVS, and Chinese EV startup Byton. Even Apple might be getting in on the action.

The German automaker has confirmed the contract to be over a billion euros ($1.16 billion). BMW is not interested in purchasing the batteries that CATL produces in China, but instead would like CATL to build a factory in Europe. The exact location has yet to be decided, but the German state of Thuringia has suggested a site near Erfurt. Erfurt would be a good spot for BMW as it is less than two hours away from its Leipzig factory. Currently the Leipzig factory produces the i3 and i8 and might produce some of BMW’s next electric cars.

BMW, like many other companies does not want to make its own battery cells. Instead they will focus on battery module and pack technology.

This is driving a lot of buisness towards battery makers like CATL who have a 17.5 GWh production capacity right now. By 2020 they plan to ramp up production to 24 GWh by 2020.

How do you guys feel about this trend? Should automakers put efforts into producing their own battery cells? Let us know down in the comments below.

Source: Reuters

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