Chinese battery giant CATL is reportedly on the lookout for a site in Europe to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for the electric vehicle market, after becoming a supplier for Volkswagen cars built in China.
According to Bloomberg, CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co) “is close to” deciding on a site in either Germany, Hungary or Poland to build what would be its first overseas automotive battery manufacturing plant.
“We see a big opportunity in Europe,” CATL’s chairman Yuqun Zeng was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing.
And in an apparent swipe at China’s Korean battery competitors, Zeng said: “Korean companies, using a low-price strategy to compete with us, haven’t made much technological progress in the past two years, while we have managed to grow fast and surpass them.”
CATL first announced in September 2017 plans to open a production base in Europe— taking CATL closer to its European carmaker customers, which include BMW.
Last year, reports emerged of a “triangular deal” between Swiss mining giant Glencore, CATL and VW related to securing supplies of battery materials.
BBB reported last November that CATL was planning a CNY13.12 billion ($1.98bn) initial public offering to support building its China’s Huxi automotive lithium-ion battery facility and setting up an R&D project.