Electric cars: CATL’s new batteries less polluting

Electric cars: CATL’s new batteries less polluting

CATL, the leader in electric car batteries, has announced the opening of its second manufacturing plant in Europe. This will make their products less polluting than in China, supplying BMW, Peugeot, Citroën, Mercedes, and Volkswagen.

The Chinese giant CATL is the undisputed leader in batteries for electric cars, with a market share of 33.5% in July 2022, just ahead of its competitor BYD (which arrives in France with its cars this year) at 16.2%. For now, CATL’s batteries are produced in China. But that will change. Indeed, the company has already built a factory in Germany that should start up this year, with a production capacity of 14 GWh per year eventually.

  • CATL TO DOUBLE ITS PRODUCTION THANKS TO EUROPE

 

While this capacity may seem low (Tesla expects to produce about 50 GWh in 2022), it should be noted that CATL has produced almost 100 GWh of battery in 2021. And above all, the Chinese company will open a factory in Hungary with a capacity of 100 GWh! That’s enough to double its global production with a single factory. To do this, CATL plans to put 7.34 billion euros on the table and start constructing this unit this year.

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  • LESS CO2 IN BATTERY PRODUCTION

For Europeans and electric cars, this new factory will change a lot. Indeed, the most polluting element of an electric car, as we have seen in our dedicated file, is its battery manufacturing. The batteries produced in Europe should reduce CO2 emissions thanks to much more carbon-free energy than in China.

Indeed, in 2018, China emitted approximately 550 g of CO2 per kWh of electricity generated. By comparison, Hungary released approximately 256 g of CO2 into the atmosphere for every kWh consumed in 2021. This will make battery production less costly for the planet. For information, in France, each kWh consumed emitted 64 g of CO2 over the same period.

The Chinese giant also addresses this element in its press release by indicating that it will use exclusively renewable energy and wishes to invest locally to develop solar energy in Hungary.

  • THE CATL BATTERY WITH 1,000 KM OF AUTONOMY MADE IN EUROPE?

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CATL says its customers, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Jeep, Opel, etc.), and the Volkswagen group (Audi, Porsche, Seat, Cupra, Skoda, etc.) will be able to take advantage of the new plant’s “cleaner” production capacities. Volkswagen has already planned to open a Gigafactory in Germany to produce batteries from 2025 with a capacity of 40 GWh per year.

We imagine that the new CATL battery, with a range of 1,000 km on the Chinese CLTC cycle (or about 800 km on the European WLTP cycle), could be built in Hungary for integration into the electric cars of European manufacturers. As a reminder, this battery will be integrated first in the Zeekr 001, an electric car planned to be marketed in 2023 in China with an announced range of 1,000 km. Of course, CALT’s more conventional batteries will also be produced in Europe, as will the future battery that promises fast recharging in just five minutes.

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