Tesla supplier CATL evaluating battery swapping business overseas

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CATL is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries and a supplier to the likes of Tesla and Ford.

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CATL, the world’s largest electric vehicle battery maker, is evaluating whether to expand its battery replacement business into international markets, a senior executive told CNBC.

CATL, or modern Amperex Technology Co. Limitedis a supplier to companies such as Tesla and Ford.

In January, the Chinese battery maker launched a battery replacement business called EVOGO in 10 Chinese cities. The aim is to eliminate the need for electric vehicles to stop at charging stations. Alternatively, the driver can borrow his pack of batteries from her CATL to put in the car when the other battery dies. This will take several minutes.

NioThe Chinese electric vehicle startup also has a rival battery replacement program. The company plans to expand to build 1,000 battery exchange stations outside China by 2025, most of them in Europe, said Nio co-founder Qin Lihong. Reuters this week.

Li Xiaoning, CATL’s executive president of overseas commercial applications, said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday that the company is also considering expanding its battery replacement products to Europe.

“I think this will start in China this year. We will gradually confirm EVOGO’s overseas footprint,” Li said.

Read more about electric vehicles on CNBC Pro

“We are starting to evaluate the possibility of cooperation with many partners, we really need to understand the details,” he added. “There are a lot of things we look at. Product technology is one thing, he said, but another is the business case, regulations, local rules, and other factors that need to be considered as well.”

CATL’s expansion overseas could allow foreign automakers to offer battery replacement services to their customers without having to build their own expensive infrastructure.

CATL faces challenges such as the rising cost of raw materials such as lithium used in batteries.

However, demand for electric vehicles remains strong and the company was able to more than double its profit in the second quarter.

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