Mercedes Benz have confirmed a new partnership with Chinese-based CATL. Widely regarded as one of the leaders in lithium-ion battery technology, CATL certainly accounts for one of the largest battery manufacturers on the planet.
If you’re an automaker and are planning how you get from here to a future where all your vehicles are electric, you’ll need a lot of batteries. There’s a quick choice you need to make and that’s a decision on your source of batteries.
Some will choose to own battery technology and consider it core to their strategic advantage, while others will see the incredibly high capital costs and go down the partnership path.
Today we have confirmation that Mercedes Benz is going with the latter approach.
Mercedes says their strategic partnership with CATL will create cutting edge-battery technology in support of a high-volume electrification of the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio.
That’s an impressive statement that confirms the company is committed to moving away from ICE vehicles, it’s now just a question of when.
The challenge Mercedes may have is that CATL manufactures batteries for a growing list of Chinese-based automakers – BAIC Motor, Geely Automobile, GAC Group, Yutong Bus, Zhongtong Bus, Xiamen King Long, SAIC Motor and Foton Motor and also recently added Tesla to that list who is buying up every battery they can get their hands on.
While CATL will be happy to make batteries on contract, the big question is how the separate IP between the companies.
It is expected Mercedes Benz will launch the EQS next year, powered by CATL batteries.