The plans of the Chinese battery manufacturer CALB to double its production capacities to 200 GWh in the near future are becoming more concrete. CALB now announces several projects to increase production in China.
CALB stands for China Aviation Lithium Battery Technology and manufactures battery cells and modules, among other things. The state-owned company claims to produce lithium-ion batteries with NCM and LFP chemistry – in the order of 100 GWh per year. Not only, but also for e-vehicles.
In a press release sent via email, the group now announces the signing of a contract for a new plant in Chengdu with an annual production capacity of 50 GWh. It is not clear from the press release whether cells as well as modules will be produced there and for which applications the products will be designed. To date, CALB has three production sites in Changzhou in Jiangsu province, Luoyang and Xiamen. According to the battery manufacturer, the capacities in Jiangsu and Xiamen have also been expanded in recent months or the conditions for an expansion of production have been created.
CALB had already announced in January that it intended to double its production capacity to 200 GWh “in the near future”. According to its own information, the company emerged from a state-owned subcontractor in 2007, has its headquarters in Luoyang and about 1,700 employees worldwide. Cars incorporating CALB’s battery technology include the GAC Aion S and the GAC Aion V, several Changan vehicles, the Geely Emerand EV450, the Geely Geometry C as well as the DFM Fengon E3 and the IA5 from GAC-Toyota. In the commercial vehicle sector, CALB cites three bus manufacturers (Kinglong, Foton, Yutong) and a UPS van as references.
Parallel to the increase in capacity in China, CALB wants to expand worldwide. In January, the state-owned company announced that, among other things, it was aiming to build a European factory. Three months ago, it said that a subsidiary had been founded to boost this project and organise pre-sales and after-sales services in Europe. However, CALB did not give any details on the time frame for the European plant. The group does not address this issue in the current press release.
In addition to the above-mentioned customers in the automotive market, which CALB names on its website, the battery manufacturer announced further partnerships in January. For example, it is a designated supplier to Honda and Guangqi Honda and is planning “bulk deliveries” to GAC-Toyota and a French bus project. CALB also describes itself as an important player in the Indian battery market and in the European luxury yacht sector. The Chinese company also says it is involved in a project in Japan.
CALB is somewhat familiar, as Continental has a joint venture with the Chinese company to produce 48-volt systems with motor, control unit and battery. While CALB supplies the battery cells, Continental contributes the battery management system including the basic software. Almost two years ago, Continental set itself the goal of starting production of technically advanced battery systems by 2021. In the press release on the establishment of the joint venture in spring 2018, Continental described CALB as a subsidiary of the state-owned automotive supplier CITC (“Chengfei Integration Technology”). In the current announcement and on the website of the battery manufacturer itself, CITC is not mentioned.
Source: press release via email, en.calb-tech.com