World’s top maker of battery cells for EVs to open German plant in 2021

China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) plans to produce 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) beginning in 2026 from its battery factory in Germany, its first production site in Europe and the grounds of car giants BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler AG.

The company, the world’s largest maker of battery cells for electric vehicles (EVs), will focus the on next-generation nickel-rich batteries, which are cheaper to make and have longer life-spans.

CATL's battery cell factory in Erfurt, Germany is set to start production in 2021.

The company currently makes NCM 523 batteries with 50% nickel, 20% cobalt and 30% manganese.

CATL’s regional president for Europe, Matthias Zentgraf, said the company’s battery cell factory in Erfurt would start production in 2021, creating about 600 jobs.

China’s No.1 maker of battery cells for EVS announced in July its decision to build a plant at Erfurt, Germany, as part of a plan to settle close to most European automakers.

Based in Fujian province in southeast China, CATL already has strategic agreements with carmakers including SAIC Motor Corp , Geely, BMW and Volkswagen.

CATL’s battery plant in Germany is expected to ease a forecast negative impact in the country’s automotive industry. According to the IG Metall labour union, the growing adoption of EVs is likely to add 25,000 jobs by 2030, though another 75,000 positions in engine and transmission making are likely to disappear, the study shows.