CATL, the world’s largest manufacturer of EV batteries, has announced its market entry in North America. Chinese EV battery makers are likely to focus on the low-consumption LFP battery market, which is around 20 percent cheaper than high-nickel batteries.
CATL recently announced that it will release Kirin batteries next month, which feature module-less and direct cell assembly in one package and the resulting cost reduction and energy density improvement. For EV batteries, higher density means longer range and higher performance. CATL’s LFP batteries have a lower energy density than South Korean manufacturers‘ high-nickel batteries, and the Chinese company aims to turn the tables with its cell-to-pack technology.
According to Bloomberg, CATL is planning to build an 80GWh plant in North America with an investment of US$5 billion, and Guoxuan, whose backlog in the US auto industry is over 200GWh, is considering building a plant in the United States. In addition, Envision AESC’s US battery plant is scheduled to come online in 2025 to supply Mercedes-Benz.
This means that South Korean and Chinese EV battery manufacturers will be competing in the US market more than ever. The former currently dominate the market, partnering with GM, Ford and Stellantis. They try to stay on top by accelerating the development of next-generation batteries. For example, LG Energy Solution is working on 4680 batteries while supplying cylindrical batteries to Tesla and making co-investments with GM and Stellantis.