Mercedes-Benz and CATL as major supplier team up for leadership in future battery technology
The Stuttgart-based luxury car maker is accelerating its "Electric First" strategy with advanced, CO2-neutrally produced battery cells, modules and systems supplied by CATL, a technology leader in lithium-ion batteries.
The agreement covers the full range of battery technologies, from cells across modules for Mercedes-Benz Cars to entire battery systems for Mercedes-Benz Vans in promising innovative technology configurations. This also includes the CATL cell-to-pack (CTP) design, which eliminates conventional modules and integrates the cells directly into the battery.
Battery cells are at the heart of highly complex battery systems. Their chemistry contributes significantly to the performance, range and service life of electric vehicles. Through its strategic partnership with CATL, Mercedes-Benz will advance its development of current and future best-in-class lithium-ion batteries.
The two partners have already started working on future battery generations to be introduced in a number of vehicles within the next few years. The clear goal is to shorten development cycles, significantly increase the ranges of future batteries through advances in energy density and reduce charging times.
In order to make electrification even more attractive for customers in the luxury segment, the goals set are ambitious: With the EQS luxury sedan, which will be delivered to customers next year, the development goal is a long-distance range of more than 700 km (WLTP range) and a doubling of the charging speed compared to current models. The Mercedes-Benz EQS will also be equipped with CATL cell modules.
At the beginning of 2020, Mercedes-Benz and CATL had already launched a joint pilot project using blockchain technology to create transparency on the emissions of climate-damaging gases and the proportion of secondary material along the battery cell supply chain.
The next step is to significantly reduce the reliance on raw material mining through the recycling of end-of-life batteries.
The strategic partnership of Mercedes-Benz and CATL accelerates the further development and industrialization of cutting-edge battery technologies in Germany. With the construction of CATL's Thuringia plant, CATL is developing a European service system to offer Mercedes-Benz more competitive products, as well as a smooth supply.
This will allow Mercedes-Benz to further increase the degree of localization in procurement and to purchase battery products from the CATL plant near Erfurt in the future. ■