CATL is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of batteries for electric vehicles, such as Tesla and Ford.
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The world’s largest electric vehicle battery maker CATL is evaluating whether to expand its battery swapping business into international markets, a senior executive told CNBC.
CATL, or Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, is a supplier to companies such as Tesla and Ford.
In January, the Chinese battery maker launched its battery-swapping business called EVOGO in China in 10 cities. The aim is to remove the need for electric cars to stop at charging stations. Instead, drivers can rent battery packs from CATL and put them in the car when their other battery dies. This takes a few minutes.
Nio, an electric car start-up in China, also has a rival battery swap program. The company plans to expand that by building 1,000 battery exchange stations outside China by 2025, with the majority in Europe, Nio co-founder Qin Lihong told Reuters this week.
Li Xiaoning, executive president of overseas business application at CATL, told CNBC in an interview Thursday that the company is also evaluating expanding its battery exchange product in Europe.
“I would say it will start in China this year. We will check EVOGO’s overseas footprint step by step,” Li said.
“We are starting to evaluate possible cooperation with many partners. We need to understand the details in practice,” he added. “There are many things that we consider. The technology of the product is one thing, the business case is another, the regulation, the local rules, and other factors that we have to think about as well.”
If CATL expands business overseas, it could help foreign carmakers provide battery replacement services to customers without having to build expensive infrastructure themselves.
CATL is facing challenges, including the rising cost of raw materials like lithium, which goes into its batteries.
But the company still managed to double profit in the second quarter as demand for electric vehicles continues to remain strong.