Honda Expands Partnership with Chinese Battery Giant
Honda is buying a 1% stake in China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), which last year won a contract to supply electric vehicle batteries to the carmaker.
The partners also plan to jointly develop next-generation batteries and work together on recycling and secondary use applications.
Why it Matters
Carmakers are scrambling to build supply capacity as they accelerate their electrification plans.
Honda, a relative latecomer to EVs, expects electrified vehicles to account for two-thirds of its global sales by 2030. Its first car equipped with a CATL battery is due to launch in China in 2022.
In North America, Honda is teaming up on EVs with General Motors. Under the agreement, GM will build two EVs for Honda. The 2024-model vehicles will use GM’s new Ultium batteries, which the carmaker is developing through its joint venture with LG Chem.
CATL Scales Up
In addition to Honda, CATL has production deals with BMW, Daimler Trucks, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. To support the BMW contract, CATL is building a $275 million plant in Germany that will supply 70% of the carmaker’s EV battery requirements.
The Tesla program reportedly involves the co-development of a battery that’s capable of lasting 16 years and/or 2 million km (1.2 million miles). Tesla is expected to detail the technology at its Battery Day symposium, which after several delays is now scheduled for Sept. 22. GM also has hinted that it’s developing a 1-million-mile battery.
According to Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, “We engineer and build our trucks with customers’ expectations in mind.”
Once the playground of exotic car makers, the definition of a niche vehicle has expanded to include image vehicles for mainstream OEMs, and specialist models produced on high-volume platforms.
Dan Nicholson is vice president of General Motors Global Propulsion Systems, the organization that had been “GM Powertrain” for 24 years.