|Industry||Automotive Li-ion Batteries, Energy Storage Systems, Battery Recycling|
|Robin Zeng, Huang Shilin, Wu Kai, Zhou Jia|
Number of employees
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (simplified Chinese: 宁德时代; traditional Chinese: 寧德時代; pinyin: Níngdé Shídài), abbreviated as CATL, is a Chinese battery manufacturer and technology company founded in 2011 that specializes in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems (BMS). With a market share of 32.6% in 2021, CATL is the biggest lithium-ion battery manufacturer for EVs in the world, producing 96.7 GWh of the global 296.8 GWh, up 167.5% year on year. The company has a manufacturing capacity target of >500 Gwh by 2025 and >800 Gwh by 2030.
It is headquartered in Ningde, Fujian Province and operates manufacturing bases in Ningde, Fujian province; Xining, Qinghai province; Liyang, Jiangsu province; Yibin, Sichuan province; Zhaoqing, Guangdong province and in its first overseas plant located in Erfurt, Germany. Its four main R&D centers are based in Ningde, Fujian; Liyang, Jiangsu; Shanghai and Munich, Germany.
CATL was founded in Ningde, which is reflected in its Chinese name ('Ningde era'). The company started as a spin-off of Amperex Technology Limited (ATL), a previous business founded by Robin Zeng in 1999. ATL initially manufactured lithium-polymer batteries based on licensed technology, but later developed more reliable battery designs themselves. In 2005 ATL was acquired by Japan's TDK company, but Zeng continued as a manager for ATL. In 2012, Zeng and vice-chairman Huang Shilin spun-off the EV battery operations of ATL into the new company CATL. Until 2015, former parent TDK held a 15% stake in CATL.
Zeng has applied management styles of TDK and Huawei to his company.
In 2016, CATL was the world's third largest provider of EV, HEV and PHEV batteries behind Panasonic (Sanyo) and BYD. In 2017, CATL's sales of power battery system reached 11.84GWh, taking the sales championship worldwide for the first time. 
As the Chinese government started to phase out subsidies for EVs towards 2020, CATL sought to diversify its revenue overseas. According to SNE Research, in the year of 2020, CATL's EV battery consumption volume ranks No.1 in the world for four consecutive years. In June 2020, CATL's founder Zeng Yuqun announced that the company had achieved a battery for electric vehicles (EVs) rated as good for 1 million miles (or 2 million kilometres) and was waiting to receive orders.
In March 2022, 36Kr reported that EV makers in China have been decreasing their order sizes with CATL. NIO sought additional battery suppliers after a four-year exclusive partnership with CATL. GAC Group also began to place orders from China Aviation Lithium Battery (CALB), a direct competitor of CATL. CALB is known for lithium iron phosphate batteries, which were considered inferior to CATL's ternary lithium batteries due to the latter's longer battery life. This changed in 2019, when multiple GAC Aion S vehicles caught fire due to poor thermal stability of CATL's power cells, which were used for the range. In comparison, CALB's lithium iron phosphate batteries do not release oxygen when they generate electric power, making them less likely to catch fire. CALB has since sought to compete with CATL on the basis of battery safety, releasing a new product in September 2021 with an ultra-thin casing, 25% fewer components, and 40% lighter in weight.
Due to its main competitor BYD Company prioritizing battery supply to its own vehicles, CATL was able to capture partnerships with foreign automakers. CATL's battery technology is currently used by electric vehicle manufacturers in the international market, and CATL collaborates with companies including BMW, Daimler AG, Hyundai, Honda, Li Auto, NIO, PSA, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo and XPeng. In China, its clients include BAIC Motor, Geely, GAC Group, Yutong Bus, Zhongtong Bus, Xiamen King Long, SAIC Motor and Foton Motor.
In January 2017, CATL announced its plans to enter into a strategic partnership with Valmet Automotive, focusing its collaboration on project management, engineering and battery pack supply for EV and HEV. As part of the partnership, CATL acquired a 22% stake in Valmet Automotive.
According to former Tesla battery supply chain manager Vivas Kumar, CATL "are seen as the leaders of lithium iron phosphate battery technology". The company employs the cell-to-pack method to reduce the amount of inactive weight of its batteries. According to Kumar, unlike competitors such as LG Chem or SK Innovation, CATL is more willing to adapt outside technology, as opposed to applying a full in-house design.
According to 36Kr, CATL prioritises cost and operational efficiency over innovation for new products and production techniques. In production, standardisation helps CATL reduce wastage, stabilise quality of products, and offer cheaper replacements for end users, but also restricts the company's ability to develop products for clients to match their designs.
Electric-car battery supplier
China's battery sector, led by CATL, has decoupled from the monopoly of western technology due to China's supremacy in the supply of rare earth essential in batteries, accounting for more than 40% of the world's collection. It has joined Tesla's battery supply chain and the supply chains of European and American vehicle manufacturers, in addition to defeating Panasonic of Japan and L.G. Chemical of South Korea. As a result, CATL leads the globe in power batteries with a 33 percent market share, and the United States has no trouble catching up in terms of E.V. batteries.
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- CATL Global location
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