Mercedes-Benz will load batteries from China’s CATL Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd into its high-end electric luxury sedan, the EQS. The German carmaker used LG Chem‘s batteries for its first electric vehicle (EV) model EQC released in 2019, Businesskorea.co.kr reports.
Mercedes-Benz will equip its EQS with CATL’s square and pouch-type batteries. The EQS is the first vehicle produced on the carmaker’s electric vehicle-only platform. The carmaker used LG Chem’s pouch-type batteries for the EQC. Introducing a dedicated EV platform, it has expanded its scope of batteries it uses to square ones.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS has a mileage of 770 km (by the European standard), which is longer than Tesla‘s luxury sedan Model S (624 km). This is attributable to the fact that the battery it uses has a larger energy storage capacity (up to 107.8 kWh) than that of the Tesla Model S (75 kWh to 100 kWh).
Recently, China’s CATL has put considerable efforts into earning trust from German automakers. It has invested 240 million euros to build battery plants and research facilities in the former East German province of Thuringia. CATL’s German plant, which will go into operation this year, is closer to Benz’s German production facilities than LG’s Polish plant. When CATL supplies battery cells, they are assembled into batteries at the Stuttgart plant of Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and then loaded into the EQS.
Mercedes-Benz and CATL are also jointly developing cell-to-pack technology to make battery cells into battery packs. By using this technology, battery makers can boost mileage by putting more battery cells into the pack space than when using the conventional cell-module-pack manufacturing method.
In the meantime, Volkswagen announced in March that it will develop its own batteries and put them into 80 percent of EVs to be sold in 2030. LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation, which supplied pouch-type batteries to Volkswagen, may lose the major customer. BMW has been using only square batteries since its first-generation EV i3. Among the three major Korean battery makers, only Samsung SDI produces square batteries and has been supplying batteries to BMW since 2010.