Mercedes-Benz and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL)<300750.SZ> have entered the next stage of their strategic partnership and will create cutting-edge battery technology in support of the high-volume electrification of the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio. 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, 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 promising 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.
“We intend to lead in battery technologies, so we are now combining our own research and development expertise with bold partners. We will integrate cutting-edge battery systems to create luxury cars with outstanding range, charging speed, safety and sustainability. Working with CATL will see us accelerate our transformation towards carbon-neutrality,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO. “CATL will be a major supplier securing capacity for the next generations of our EQ products in the years to come. ”
“Mercedes-Benz is a special and important partner to CATL. We are very pleased to further expand and upgrade the partnership for both parties’ future development. Mercedes invented the car more than 130 years ago and has developed its technology with countless innovations. This combined with CATL’s expertise in battery, will be a decisive step to both parties’ electrification strategies,” said Dr. Robin Zeng, Founder, Chairman and CEO of CATL. “Together we collaborate on developing and delivering reliable, competitive solutions to promote worldwide e-mobility.”
Electrification of its model portfolio with innovative battery technologies
Battery cells are at the heart of highly complex battery systems. Their 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.
“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. 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”, said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China. “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.”
Mercedes-Benz and CATL are committed to engineer and produce quality- and performance- leading batteries with the most sustainable footprint possible.
Battery products from carbon-neutral production
With “Ambition2039”, 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. 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.
“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,” said Zhou Jia, President of CATL. “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.”
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 the degree of localization in procurement and to purchase battery products from the CATL plant near Erfurt in the future.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, with businesses covering R&D, manufacturing and sales in battery systems for new energy vehicles and energy storage systems. In 2019, the company’s EV battery sales volume reached 40.25 GWh worldwide, and making it the world leader in annual EV battery consumption volume (source SNE Research).
Headquartered in Ningde, China, CATL has more than 26,000 employees around the world as of 2019 and 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.
Mercedes-Benz AG at a glance
Mercedes-Benz AG is responsible for the global business of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans with over 173,000 employees worldwide. Ola Källenius is Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG. The company focuses on the development, production and sales of passenger cars, vans and services. Furthermore, the company aspires to be leading in the fields of connectivity, automated driving and alternative drives with its forward-looking innovations. The product portfolio comprises the Mercedes-Benz brand with the sub-brands Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes me – as well as the smart brand, and the EQ product and technology brand for electric mobility. Mercedes-Benz AG is one of the largest manufacturers of premium passenger cars. In 2019 it sold nearly 2.4 million cars and more than 438,000 vans. In its two business divisions, Mercedes-Benz AG is continually expanding its worldwide production network with over 40 production sites on four continents, while aligning itself to meet the requirements of electric mobility. At the same time, the company is developing its global battery production network on three continents. Sustainable actions play a decisive role in both business divisions. To the company, sustainability means creating value for all stakeholders on a lasting basis: customers, employees, investors, business partners and the society as a whole. The basis for this is the sustainable business strategy of Daimler in which the company takes responsibility for the economic, ecological and social effects of its business activities and looks at the entire value chain.