Tesla’s battery supply for its cars made in China is set to expand. The electric automaker’s battery cell supplier in China, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), is set to sell $9 billion in stock to increase its manufacturing capacity as the EV market expands.
CATL said on Friday morning that it expects to raise up to $9 billion (58.2 billion yuan) in a share sale that will be made available to large investors. The proceeds will be used to build several new factories for battery production, increasing CATL’s availability as a supplier and establishing enough capacity to support the numerous EV companies it sells batteries to.
CATL and Tesla have used their partnership to flourish in an extremely competitive Chinese electric vehicle market. CATL, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturing company, has supplied cells to Tesla in China since January 2020, when the company first delivered vehicles to customers. Both companies have experienced tremendous growth in the stock market as well. CATL is up more than 150% in the past twelve months, while Tesla is still up tremendously after its unbelievable 2020 stock surge.
Wall Street Journal originally reported on CATL’s plans to sell shares to increase its battery production capabilities.
Last year, CATL performed a similar stock sale of just $3 billion in a private stock sale. However, according to the company’s announcement, this $9 billion sale will be slightly different as there is a limit of up to 35 investors from asset-management and insurance companies.
China is quickly becoming one of the most prominent locations for electric vehicles. After Tesla entered the market in early 2020, the EV revolution seemed to hit the accelerator pedal as domestic companies fought to fend off the Silicon Valley-based car company headed by CEO Elon Musk. The Model 3 and Model Y from Tesla are currently produced at the company’s production facility known as Giga Shanghai, which has become somewhat of an export hub for the company as it waits for the initial production efforts to begin at its first European manufacturing plant in Germany.
Tesla and CATL currently have a supply deal lined up through 2025, and the funding from the stock sale could be used to build the potential battery plant that was rumored to be coming near Giga Shanghai. Additionally, CATL recently announced its new sodium-ion battery that could be rolled out in EVs as soon as 2023. Sodium-ion cells are known for having somewhat lower energy density than their lithium-ion counterparts, but they can function at lower temperatures, are more sustainable, and can increase fast charging capabilities.