the future of battery technology for Mercedes-Benz with strategic partnership
Mercedes-Benz and CATL will jointly boost the industrialization of lithium-ion batteries in Germany.
The Stuttgart-based luxury car maker is accelerating its “Electric First” strategy with advanced, CO2-neutrally produced battery cells, modules and systems supplied by CATL [Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited], a technology leader in lithium-ion batteries. The agreement covers the full range of battery technologies, from cells across modules for Mercedes-Benz Cars to entire battery systems for Mercedes-Benz Vans in innovative technology configurations. This also includes the CATL cell-to-pack (CTP) design, which eliminates conventional modules and integrates the cells directly into the battery.
Electrification of its model portfolio with innovative battery technologies
Battery cell chemistry contributes significantly to the performance, range and service life of electric vehicles. Through its strategic partnership with CATL, Mercedes-Benz will advance its development of current and future best-in-class lithium-ion batteries. The two partners have already started working on future battery generations to be introduced in a number of vehicles within the next few years.
The clear goal is to shorten development cycles, significantly increase the ranges of future batteries through advances in energy density and reduce charging times. In order to make electrification even more attractive for customers in the luxury segment, the goals set are ambitious: With the EQS luxury sedan, which will be delivered to customers next year, the development goal is a long-distance range of more than 700 km (WLTP range) and a doubling of the charging speed compared to current models. The Mercedes-Benz EQS will also be equipped with CATL cell modules.
Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China said “We are now pleased to bring our cooperation with CATL, a world-leading battery manufacturer from China, to a new level and will further integrate this partnership into our strategy of ‘Electric First’ and sustainable development. We believe such cooperation will enable Daimler to continue to delight our customers with technology leadership and accelerated innovation.”
He added “in China, we have established strong cooperation with key industry and technology players over the years that have contributed not only to our strong growth momentum but also brought efficiency in production, purchasing and research and development. Daimler will continue to strengthen its global competitiveness and enhance efficiency by working with strong and innovative partners to pursue our future strategy, including electric mobility.”
Battery products from carbon-neutral production
Mercedes-Benz is pursuing the long-term vision of a climate-neutral new passenger car fleet and is actively driving the transformation to CO2-neutrality with “Ambition2039.” In order to minimize the carbon footprint of current and future vehicle generations, the partners have agreed to the carbon-neutral production of battery products. To enable this, CATL will use electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and hydropower for its production.
At the beginning of 2020, Mercedes-Benz and CATL had already launched a joint pilot project using blockchain technology to create transparency on the emissions of climate-damaging gases and the proportion of secondary material along the battery cell supply chain. The next step is to significantly reduce the reliance on raw material mining through the recycling of end-of-life batteries.
Zhou Jia, President of CATL commented, “within the framework of this newly established strategic partnership, CATL fully commits to Mercedes-Benz AG’s sustainability goals including ‘Ambition 2039’. This includes sustainable production with renewable energy, the minimum CO2 footprint in terms of logistics within the whole supply chain and respect for all aspects of social responsibility. CATL will ensure CO2 neutral battery production and maximize CO2 reduction in the battery supply chain for next generation Mercedes-Benz EQ starting with the EQS,” he said. “I am convinced that this partnership will open new opportunities for both companies to create a sustainable business and speed-up the transition of our industry.”
Zhou Jia, President of CATL
Industrialization of a key technology in Germany
The strategic partnership of Mercedes-Benz and CATL accelerates the further development and industrialization of cutting-edge battery technologies in Germany. With the construction of CATL’s Thuringia plant, CATL is developing a European service system to offer Mercedes-Benz more competitive products, as well as a smooth supply. This will allow Mercedes-Benz to further increase its level of localization in procurement and, to purchase battery products from the CATL plant near Erfurt in the future.
CATL has more than 26,000 employees around the world and id headquartered in Ningde, China. The company has subsidiaries in Beijing, Liyang (Jiangsu Province), Xining (Qinghai Province) and Yibin (Sichuan Province), as well as in Munich (Germany), Paris (France), Yokohama (Japan), Detroit (USA) and Vancouver (Canada).
In addition, the company owns and operates battery manufacturing facilities in Fujian, Jiangsu, Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, and in its European plant located in Erfurt, Germany, its first overseas plant that is currently under construction. In June 2018, the company went public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with stock code 300750.