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CATL, Tesla co-working on fast-charging battery development for EVs

Monika From Gasgoo| March 26 , 2024 19:27 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- During the first One Earth Summit held in Hong Kong on March 25, Zeng Yuqun, the Chairman and General Manager of CATL, revealed in an interview that the company is in collaboration with Tesla to develop fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The partnership focuses on researching new electrochemical structures and other battery technologies.

Additionally, Mr. Zeng disclosed that CATL is supplying equipment for Tesla's factory in Nevada, USA.

CATL, Tesla co-working on fast-charging battery development for EVs

Mr. Zeng Yuqun; photo credit: CATL

At the summit, Mr. Zeng emphasized the importance of "open innovation" in driving global sustainable development. He highlighted the severe challenges posed by climate change, uneven technological development, and the slowing pace of energy transition in some regions. "Humanity has never been in greater need of a global consensus. We must truly reach a consensus, using open innovation to advance technology and actively respond to the challenges of climate change," Zeng stated.

Since its inception, CATL has focused on three strategic directions of development and has built four major innovation systems, with open innovation being a key practice.

Internally, CATL continues to increase its R&D investments, exploring cutting-edge technologies and advanced solutions. In 2023, its R&D expenditure reached 18.4 billion.

Externally, CATL innovates in cooperation models, sharing technological achievements to promote global technological inclusivity. For example, CATL has adopted the LRS (Licence Royalty Service) model with its clients in the US, assisting OEMs and battery manufacturers in quickly establishing battery factories through technology sharing. This open approach aims to accelerate the global energy transition and climate change response.

In February 2023, Ford Motor announced the plan to build a battery factory near Marshall, Michigan, USA. In this project, CATL would provide Ford Motor with patent licensing, equipment support, on-site production management, and supply chain quality management assistance for building a battery plant in the US, without taking any stake in this battery factory and only collecting technology service fees. This is known as the LRS model.

The project, with an investment of $3.5 billion covered by Ford Motor, initially planned a production capacity of 35GWh, which was reduced to 20GWh in the second half of 2023, aiming for operation by 2026.

On August 16, 2023 CATL launched Shenxing, the world’s first 4C superfast charging LFP battery, capable of delivering 400 km of driving range with a 10-minute charge as well as a range of over 700 km on a single full charge. Shenxing is expected to considerably alleviate fast charging anxiety for EV users, and opens up an era of EV superfast charging.

In January 2024, CATL surpassed LG Energy Solution in the global electric vehicle battery market excluding China with an installed capacity of 5.7GWh, which accounted for 25.8% of the entire market and jumped 28.5% year on year, securing the top spot for the first time. 

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