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Tesla supplier CATL evaluating battery swapping business overseas


CATL is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of electric vehicle batteries for Tesla and Ford.

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The world’s largest electric vehicle battery maker CATL is assessing whether to expand its battery swap business into international markets, a senior executive told CNBC.

CATL, or Amperex Contemporary Technology Ltdis a supplier to companies like Tesla and Ford.

In January, the Chinese battery maker launched a battery swap business called EVOGO in China across 10 cities. The aim is to eliminate the need for electric cars to stop at charging stations. Instead, drivers can rent battery packs from CATL and put them in their vehicle when their other battery pack runs out. This takes a few minutes.

Nio, an electric car start-up in China, also has a battery swap program for rivals. The company plans to expand that to build 1,000 battery swapping stations outside of China by 2025, with the majority in Europe, said co-founder Nio Qin Lihong. Reuters this week.

Li Xiaoning, executive president of overseas commercial applications at CATL, told CNBC in an interview on Thursday that the company is also evaluating battery swap product expansion to Europe.

“I can say that this will start in China this year. We will gradually test EVOGO’s overseas footprint,” Li said.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

“We are starting to evaluate the possibility of cooperation with many partners. We need to understand the details in practice,” he added. “There’s a lot of things we look at. Product technology is one thing, another is the business case, regulations, local rules, and other factors that we need to think about. “

If CATL expands its business overseas, it could help foreign automakers offer battery swaps to customers without having to build expensive infrastructure themselves.

CATL is facing challenges including the increasing cost of raw materials such as lithium, which goes into batteries.

However, the company still more than doubled profits in the second quarter as demand for electric vehicles continued to remain strong.



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