CATL and Other Battery Makers Race to Stay Ahead of Tesla Batteries

CATL is the largest lithium-ion battery supplier in the world and they plan to increase production by four times to 263 GWh in 2023.

CATL Chairman Zeng Yuqun said global lithium battery market demand will increase significantly starting in 2021. Zeng said growth of capacity in the entire industry chain is relatively slow, and effective supply is insufficient.

LG Chem is more than doubling its battery capacity by 2023.

LG Chem and CATL had almost half of the 192.9 GWh of the global electric car batteries in 2020. They would have 370 GWh in 2023 based upon expansion plans. Tesla would have access to about 600-800 GWh in batteries in 2023 based upon expansion plans of Tesla, CATL, Panasonic and LG Chem. This would be enough batteries for 6-10 million cars.

On Tesla Battery Day, Tesla said they would have a 100 GWh/year by 2022 and a 10 GWh/year pilot plant by the end of 2021 and at least 3 TWh per year by 2030. If Tesla hits Battery Day plans then Tesla could surpass CATL by 2023.

Musk and Baglino said one assembly line will make 20 GWh/year. Seven times the output in current assembly lines. The production lines will need six or seven revisions. Each factory revision in the machine (that makes the machine) is once every three or four months. There has already been one revision since the Sept, 2020 battery day.

Tesla battery day was about announcing Tesla believed it had major solutions to scaling batteries and factories and the battery supply chain. Other battery makers will need to shake up their plans to keep pace.

Possible Tesla Battery Growth
2021  10 GWh/year
2022  110 GWh/year
2023  310 GWh/year
2024  610 GWh/year
2025  1010 GWh/year
2026  1410 GWh/year
2027  1810 GWh/year
2028  2210 GWh/year
2029  2610 GWh/year
2030  3010 GWh/year

CATL is working on utility-scale battery storage and charging stations and better batteries.

Written By Brian Wang, (Brian owns shares of Tesla)