EV-battery giant CATL to boost capacity with $4.5bn investment

The world’s largest maker of batteries for electric vehicles, China’s CATL, says it will rev up production even higher, spending up to 29 billion yuan ($4.49 billion) to build or upgrade domestic factories to meet growing demand.

This is in addition to plans Contemporary Amperex Technology unveiled last year to boost capacity at a cost of up to 65 billion yuan.

CATL’s battery capacity was projected to triple to 336 gigawatt hours in 2023 from 109 gigawatt hours in 2020, according to a January report by Chinese brokerage Shengang Securities. The latest investment plans will lift the number even further.

Under the newest plans, CATL will open a 25 gigawatt-hour factory in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province, by investing as much as 12 billion yuan. A similar amount of money will be spent to upgrade a plant in Yibin, Sichuan Province, while a Ningde, Fujian Province, factory run by a joint venture with automaker China FAW will be expanded at the cost of 5 billion yuan or less.

A year ago, CATL said it would invest up to 26 billion yuan and announced another investment of up to 39 billion yuan in December, both to beef up battery capacity in China. Its first overseas plant in Germany, now under construction, is slated to begin shipments this year.