CATL chairman discusses partnership with Tesla and EV batteries in recent interview

The Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (or CATL) is the largest supplier of electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the world.

The company has been in the headlines a lot recently after announcing a deal with Tesla that will reportedly bring the costs of EV batteries enough to make the price of an EV equivalent, or cheaper than its gas-powered counterpart.

Now the chairman of CATL, Zeng Yuqun has revealed more information about the deal, and how they plan to work with Tesla into the future in a recent interview with China Daily.

Yuqun said that the partnership with Tesla would see CATL begin to provide batteries for Tesla, not only in China but for other markets around the world, later in 2020.

He further explained the deal is not limited to battery procurement.

(Elon) Musk told me that Tesla wants to produce batteries itself, and as far as we know, their method will not affect ours. And we are discussing how to make better batteries together.

The CATL chairman also spoke about his company’s progress in developing a cobalt free battery. Cobalt is the most expensive element that goes into making an EV battery, so if the reliance on cobalt is reduced, so should the cost.

We are expected to learn more about Tesla’s advancements in battery technology soon, hopefully this month. The automakers planned Battery Day event has already been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Musk has now said the event may be split into two parts – an online event that everyone can attend, which would happen soon, and then a second in-person event later this year when restrictions around large gatherings of people have been eased.

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