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Tesla CATL Supplier Evaluates Overseas Battery Swap Business


CATL is the world’s largest electric vehicle battery manufacturer and supplier to Tesla and Ford.

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CATL, the world’s largest maker of batteries for electric vehicles, is evaluating whether to expand its battery swap business into international markets, a senior 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 swap business called EVOGO in China across 10 cities. The aim is to remove 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 runs out. It takes a few minutes.

Nio, an electric car startup in China, also has a competing battery swap program. The company plans to expand that to building 1,000 battery swap stations outside of China by 2025, the majority in Europe, Nio co-founder Qin Lihong told Reuters this week. .

Li Xiaoning, executive president of overseas business applications at CATL, told CNBC in an interview on Thursday that the company is also evaluating expanding its battery swap 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.

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“We are starting to assess potential cooperation with many partners. We need to understand the details in practice,” he added. “There are a lot of things we consider. Product technology is one thing, another is the business case, regulation, local rules, and other factors that we need to think about as well.”

If CATL expands overseas, it could help foreign automakers offer battery swap services to customers without having to build the expensive infrastructure themselves.

CATL faces challenges such as the rising cost of raw materials like lithium, which goes into its batteries.

But the company still managed to more than double its profits in the second quarter as demand for electric vehicles remained strong.

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