China’s CATL making two giant battery factories with billion dollar funding

Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) has raised nearly $1 billion to fund new battery plants. China will be making 70 percent of the world’s electric-vehicle batteries by 2021, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

China is already the world’s largest car market. They currently sell only a small fraction of vehicles and components globally. “China sees EVs as the way to assert their global dominance in automotive,” says Venkat Viswanathan, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, whose work focuses on batteries.

CATL shares rose by the maximum allowed in each of the first three days of trading, giving the Ningde-based company a value of more than $13 billion by the end of trading on June 13.

CATL plans to build two new plants and expand existing facilities, pushing its capacity to nearly 90 gigawatt-hours by 2020. This is up from 17 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion cells annually today.

China has big subsidies for domestically produced electric vehicles.

China has started to require higher energy density to qualify for subsidies. Battery makers are pushing their technology. There is a fast shift to a new generation of batteries containing more nickel and less cobalt, a metal that is in increasingly short supply.

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