CATL is the world’s largest manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and a supplier to companies such as Tesla and Ford.
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The world’s largest electric vehicle battery maker CATL is weighing whether to expand its battery replacement business into international markets, a top executive told CNBC.
CATL, or Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, is a supplier to companies such as Tesla and Ford.
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In January, the Chinese battery maker launched its battery replacement business, called EVOGO, in China in 10 cities. The aim is to eliminate the need for electric cars to stop at charging stations. Instead, drivers can rent batteries from CATL and put them in the car when their other battery dies. This takes a few minutes.
Nio, an electric car startup in China, also has a competitive battery swap program. The company plans to expand that to building 1,000 battery exchange stations outside of China by 2025, most of them in Europe, said Nio co-founder Qin Lihong. Reuters this week.
Li Xiaoning, executive president of overseas commercial applications at CATL, told CNBC in an interview Thursday that the company is also evaluating expanding its battery replacement product in Europe.
“I would say it will start in China this year. We will check EVOGO’s overseas footprint step by step,” Li said.
“We are starting to evaluate potential cooperation with many partners. We need to understand the details in practice,” he added. “There are many things we are considering. Product technology is one thing, the business case is another, regulation, local rules, and other factors we also need to think about.”
If CATL expands its business overseas, it could help foreign automakers offer battery replacement services to customers without having to build the expensive infrastructure themselves.
CATL faces challenges, including the rising cost of raw materials like lithium, which goes into batteries.
But the company still managed to double its profit in the second quarter as demand for electric vehicles continues to remain strong.