Contemporary Amperex Technology
|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 (Chinese: 宁德时代), 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).
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 originates 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 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. In 2018, it was announced that CATL will establish a new battery factory in Arnstadt, Thuringia, Germany. CATL's annual sales volume amounted to 21.18 GWh of energy storage capacity in 2018.
In June 2020, CATL's founder Zeng Yuqun announced that the company had achieved a battery for electric vehicles rated as good for 1 million miles (or 2 million kilometers) and was waiting to receive orders.
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 a number of electric vehicle manufacturers. In the international market, CATL is collaborating with a growing number of companies including: PSA, Hyundai, Honda, BMW, Daimler AG, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. In China, its clients include BAIC Motor, Geely Automobile, 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.
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- CATL Global location
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