Chinese battery maker CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology) is about to finalise a feasibility study looking into a European production facility for batteries. Once their estimates are final, a decision could be taken within weeks.
Already it is certain though, that exporting battery cells en masse from China is not a good option, particularly in light of large orders from major carmakers. Daimler, Volkswagen and most recently Nissan and Renault have all turned to CATL in order to secure their supply for their upcoming electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The news that CATL is about to decide whether to come to the continent and make battery cells here was broken by Matthias Zentgraf, head of CATL’s European operation in his keynote speech at the Battery Show Europe in Hannover, Germany.
A decision will be made within a few weeks, Zentgraf said, once the company finishes assessing location, required investment and production capacity, among other things.
Apart from practicalities, competition is another consideration, given that Korea’s LG Chem and Samsung SDI both operate battery factories in Europe already.