Tesla supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) has established a new electric vehicle (EV) battery production facility in China, which the company says can produce one battery cell every second.
The production facility is located in the Guizhou province in the Guian New District, and it officially entered operation on Friday, according to a report from CnEVPost. The production facility will produce energy storage batteries and will eventually feature an annual capacity of 60 GWh.
The factory’s opening represents the first of two construction phases planned at the site, with the first officially entering production and featuring about 885 mu (9,526 sq. ft.) of total land area. CATL reportedly invested around RMB 7 billion (~$960 million) into phase one of construction, and the site becoming operational is expected to have an annual production capacity of 30 GWh while the second phase will add another 30 GWh of output.
The speed of the factory’s production is largely due to the facility having an automation rate of about 95 percent, according to CATL. The company also added that, from the point of feeding raw materials to the output of the finished product, the factory will take roughly two and a half minutes to produce a full battery pack.
CATL is one of Tesla’s many suppliers, and it’s the world’s largest battery manufacturer, with around a 36.9-percent global market share between January and August. No other battery maker had above a 30 percent market share in that time period.
In Q3, CATL reported net profits of RMB 10.43 billion (~$1.4 billion), representing a 4.3 percent drop from Q2 but a 10.7 increase year over year.
The news comes after the U.S. Congress asked Tesla to provide details about its relationship with CATL last month, citing concerns about the company partnering with U.S. companies. One letter on the topic cites an agreement with Ford, in which the automaker disclosed that it planned to open a $3.5 billion plant in Michigan with licensed technology from CATL.
Earlier this year, reports also suggested that Tesla could be considering a U.S. plant built jointly with CATL, though the automaker did not confirm whether the reports are valid or not.