It can hardly become more official: CATL released construction details of their first battery factory outside China. The facility in Erfurt, a town in the East of Germany, targets a capacity of 14 GWh and will cost CATL 240M euros.
For the state of Thuringia it means much needed jobs, 600 to be precise. The facility will stand on a 70 hectare ground in the industrial area called Erfurter Kreuz. The agreement between CATL and the Free State of Thuringia has been signed today as part of the German-Chinese intergovernmental consultations in the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.
CATL says the move “emphasizes their commitment to the European automotive market in general and the growth opportunities electric vehicles represent in Europe”.
Adds Dr. Robin Zeng, Chairman of CATL: “Building a smart battery plant in Germany is the first step in turning our European investment plan into reality. Developing a production facility in Germany will also deepen the collaboration between the European OEMs and CATL.”
Specifically in Germany, CATL has scored large supply agreements with carmakers. BMW agreed to buy cells worth over a billion euros and had recommended Erfurt reportedly. The facility is close to the BMW Dingolfing factory in Bavaria, where the iNEXT will be manufactured starting in 2021.
The CATL battery production in Erfurt will run at full capacity from 2022. Apart from making batteries, they will also install a R&D center for the development of smart manufacturing technology with a focus on battery production. In addition testing, quality control and services are also in focus at the facility.
CATL will set up a project company in Thuringia as an independent business.
They will deal with clients such as Volkswagen and Daimler that set up supply contracts with the Chinese manufacturer for the I.D. series as well as the EQ brand. Furthermore, PSA and Renault-Nissan will likely be sourcing some battery cells made in Erfurt from CATL too.