Tesla Is Collaborating with CATL on Battery Charging Tech, Supplying Giga Nevada, CEO Confirms

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) and Tesla are working on faster battery charging technology. The CATL CEO has confirmed the collaboration and also said the company is supplying battery production equipment to Giga Nevada.

Robin Zeng, founder and CEO of CATL, commented on the $25,000 electric car that Tesla plans to start producing in the coming years. “There’s always room for cost reduction depending on what the $25,000 car’s aim is,” said Zeng, in an interview with Bloomberg. “If it’s for robotaxis, we don’t have to worry about the cost reduction for each cell as our batteries have a longer life cycle and so their average cost is actually lower.”

He said the companies are working together on battery technologies. In particular, collaboration is taking place on new electrochemical structures that will enable faster charging.

In addition, Zeng also confirmed that CATL is supplying equipment to Tesla’s Nevada factory. At the beginning of February, it became known that the Chinese giant would provide equipment to the factory of the Texas manufacturer for the production of Megapack. Tesla will start this factory with an initial capacity of about 10 gigawatt-hours (GWh), with expansion plans dependent on the project’s success, the sources said.

In addition to its largest customer, Tesla, CATL also serves automakers such as BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz Group AG, and Nio Inc. The company offers low-cost but reliable lithium iron phosphate batteries. However, CATL is effectively prohibited from selling products directly in the US. The company is trying to get around this by licensing battery technology to partners with a royalty fee.

Zeng expressed optimism about this licensing model. He added that the company plans to train engineers from automakers. At the moment, such an agreement already exists with Ford, and CATL is negotiating with about 10-20 other automakers in the US and Europe regarding a similar agreement, he said.

“Geopolitics is very complicated for us business managers but what matters most is client trust that transcends short-term governments and political disturbances,” said Zeng. “Actions speak louder than words.”

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