CATL could lower battery prices
According to Chinese media, CATL could significantly reduce battery prices for select automakers. But only under certain conditions. The manufacturer could therefore offer lower prices to some customers in the third quarter of 2023 if they agree to purchase at least 80 per cent of their batteries from CATL in exchange.
Brands to whom CATL offered the deal include Nio, Li Auto, Huawei and Zeekr. According to insiders, Tesla is not on the list. Some automakers are reportedly already signing the cooperation, says 36 Krypton. The media outlet is usually well-informed about topics concerning Asian cell manufacturers.
Tesla is one of the largest CATL customers, purchasing LFP cells for its basic Model 3 and Model Y variants. Nio just signed a new five-year collaboration with CATL in January, and Zeekr, in turn, is among the first customers to use the Qilin battery (CATL’s latest generation of cell-to-pack technology) in its vehicles.
Last year, as prices for battery materials such as lithium carbonate rose significantly, CATL allegedly began implementing a mechanism to tie battery prices to raw material costs. With the offer on the table, CATL would agree on a price of 200,000 yuan (around 27,300 euros) per ton of lithium carbonate for the next three years — no matter the cost of raw materials.
Currently, battery-grade lithium carbonate costs about 470,000 yuan per ton. Thus, the offer would significantly cut the price for one of the most crucial battery materials. CATL, in turn, demanded price cuts of around ten per cent from its raw material suppliers.
CATL has not commented on the reports.
Some companies may be sceptical of the deal, as CATL is likely taking advantage of its dominant market position to push through its prices. “This will make it difficult for other battery factories,” 36 Krypton quotes an insider. SVOLT Energy is also said to have introduced a ten per cent price cut and asked raw material suppliers to share it.