CATL, China's largest power battery giant, is getting involved in building a battery swap network itself.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) announced today that it has signed a partnership agreement with Guizhou province in southwestern China to build a battery swap network, signaling the power battery giant's involvement in this new way of energy replenishing for electric vehicles.
CATL (SHE: 300750) and the Guizhou provincial government signed the agreement on December 24 in Guiyang, the province's capital, in the presence of senior local officials, including the vice governor of Guizhou and the director of the Guizhou Energy Bureau, according to an announcement from the battery maker.
(Image credit: CATL)
According to the agreement, the two sides will cooperate in depth in the construction of a network of new energy vehicle (NEV) battery swap facilities, promoting the improvement of NEV battery swap capacity and promoting the high-quality development of the new energy industry, CATL said.
CATL's announcement provides no further details, and it's unclear whether the company will build its own brand of battery swap stations directly or work with other operators of the facility, or whether the facility will be aimed at the cab market or at regular vehicles like NIO's.
Notably, an image circulating on social media earlier this month showed that CATL has already started to have its own brand of battery swap stations.
This is not the first time CATL has shown support for the battery swap model.
Last August, NIO launched its BaaS (Battery as a Service) battery rental business, and Mirattery, a joint venture between CATL, NIO, Guotai Junan and Hubei Science Technology Investment, is the manager of these battery assets.
Mirattery was established with a registered capital of RMB 800 million, with CATL contributing RMB 200 million for 25 percent of the equity and a board seat.
In August this year, Shangdong Weida Group, one of the shareholders, said Mirattery plans to launch a Series B financing with an overall valuation of RMB 2.5 billion before the financing.
After the completion of this financing, Mirattery will have an additional registered capital of RMB 321 million, and the registered capital will increase from RMB 1.512 billion to RMB 1.833 billion.
NIO will become the largest shareholder of Mirattery, accounting for 19.84 percent of the registered capital. Prior to this, NIO, along with Guotai Junan International Holdings Limited, Hubei Science Technology Investment Group Co and CATL, all held 13.32 percent of the shares.
On December 6, NIO and Sinopec Guizhou signed a cooperation agreement and put into operation their first jointly built battery swap station in the province, the third NIO battery swap station in Guizhou, which is a less developed region of China.
NIO did not announce the number of its replenishment facilities in Guizhou at the time, but its previously released data showed that as of October 12 the company had two battery swap stations, five destination charging stations and access to 5018 third-party charging piles in the province.
(Image credit: NIO)