Tesla supplier CATL’s battery facility in Germany takes a step towards deployment

Credit: CATL

Tesla battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is poised to complete its first European plant, with the facility receiving its second partial approval from the state of Thuringia, Germany. CATL’s upcoming battery factory, dubbed Contemporary Amperex Technology Thuringia GmbH (CATT), is about a 3.5-hour drive away from Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin facility. 

In a press release, CATL noted that it had received the green light to produce battery cells in Thuringia as part of its 1.8 billion euro (US$2 billion) initiative to capture the global electric vehicle movement. The German plant is CATL’s first battery production facility outside China, and it could help the company get closer to automakers in the area, such as Tesla. 

A ceremony was held in CATT at the Erfurter Kreuz industrial area. During the event, Anja Siegesmund, Thuringia’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation, and Wolfgang Tiefensee, Thuringia’s Minister of Economy, gave the permit for the facility to Matthias Zentgraf, CATL’s President for Europe. The permit would allow an initial capacity of 8 GWh per year for the plant. 

The construction of CATT is in its final stages, with the installation of machines in the facility in full swing. With this pace, CATL’s German plant could see its first cells roll off its assembly lines by the end of the year, which should be enough for about 120,000 electric vehicles. Zentgraf, for his part, shared his excitement about the development. 

“CATT provides a fundamental impetus for the urgently needed energy transition, and we are glad to be the first company to receive approval to manufacture batteries ‘Made in Germany’,” he said. 

Whether CATL’s Germany-based battery facility would be supplying Gigafactory Berlin remains to be seen. However, its location suggests that it would be quite easy to transport cells from CATT to Tesla’s electric vehicle production plant. Tesla is already planning on building its own batteries at the Giga Berlin complex, but considering the company’s plans for the facility in the long run, a supply of batteries from tried and tested suppliers such as CATL would likely be very welcome. 

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Tesla supplier CATL’s battery facility in Germany takes a step towards deployment
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