BMW agrees US$4.7 billion contract with China's CATL for battery cells

Marco Green
July 12, 2018

Chancellor Merkel hailed the announcement as a victory for both Thuringia and Europe.

A contract for the construction of the new plant is due to be signed on Monday during a visit to Germany by China's Premier Li Keqiang. More than 20 commercial agreements were concluded during the bilateral government consultations in Berlin.

Duesmann said he would welcome it if other carmakers also wanted to invest in the Erfurt plant. Manufacturers in car-proud Germany have claimed technological leadership for decades, and are now fighting for their place in the emissions-free transport system of the future.

Since pleading guilty, Volkswagen called upon the German and European auto industry, to team up on EV battery production. This could even benefit lignite mining regions economically once Germany phases out coal-fired power production, he said.

BMW AG will make Mini cars in China for the first time, sealing a joint-venture agreement to produce electric vehicles with partner Great Wall Motor Co.in the world's largest automotive market.

"I don't rule it out", he said.

"It's good that it [the factory] doesn't go to eastern Europe instead", Dudenhöffer said.

"It is important that Germany works closely with a big worldwide manufacturer, because the Germans can't do it, they don't want to... and they are less willing to invest in this new field". CATL's initial investment in the new factory will total 240 million euros.

The CATL factory is expected to create around 600 jobs and reach production of 14 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2022. "CATL is a very open company, whether it is German or not does not matter". This would likely require the construction of additional factories, he said. "If the Thuringia project is successful then we can consider other locations".

Incidentally, BMW declared that it would purchase battery cells worth Euro 4 billion (USD 4.7 billion) from CATL's already existing factory in China.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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