Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), the Chinese power battery manufacturer, is set to expand its production of the cutting-edge Shenxing Superfast Charging Battery in Europe. This move, announced at the IAA Munich auto show by CATL's principal engineer Gao Pengfei, marks a significant stride in the global transition to lithium iron phosphate (LFP)-based batteries supporting ultra-fast charging.
While CATL is already producing the Shenxing Battery in China, the company's plans now encompass manufacturing in Germany and Hungary as well. Gao Pengfei, however, refrained from providing specific details about the production timeline in Europe, citing ongoing negotiations regarding offtake agreements with potential customers in the region.
CATL made waves in August by introducing the Shenxing Superfast Charging Battery in China, touting it as the world's first LFP battery capable of supporting 4C charging. The ‘4C' designation signifies a charging rate that theoretically enables the battery to reach a full charge in just a quarter of an hour. CATL's innovation boasts the ability to provide 400 kilometers of driving range with a mere 10-minute charge, while a full charge extends the range to an impressive 700 kilometers.
Enthusiasts can expect to see the Shenxing Battery in mass production by the end of 2023, with availability for purchase in the first quarter of 2024. This aligns with CATL's ambitious plans to usher in a new era of electric vehicles powered by this groundbreaking battery technology.
One notable advantage of the LFP chemistry employed in the Shenxing Battery is its cost-effectiveness when compared to the nickel-cobalt-manganese cells utilized by major automakers like BMW and Tesla in cylindrical cells, according to Gao Pengfei.
CATL's foray into Europe is not a novel endeavor, as its plant in Germany, located in the state of Thuringia, commenced mass production of lithium-ion battery cells in December 2022. The company has committed substantial investments, totaling €1.8 billion, for the German plant, which is poised to achieve a planned capacity of 14 GWh. This investment is set to create 2,000 local jobs in the near future, as previously announced by the company.
Furthermore, CATL's facility in Hungary is currently under construction, situated in an industrial park south of Debrecen, bolstering the company's commitment to expanding its presence in the European market.