Chinese CATL and Honda Alliance to Make EV Batteries, Technology and Maybe Autonomous Vehicles

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (SZ: 300750) and Honda (TYO: 7267)have signed an agreement for a “comprehensive strategic alliance on new energy vehicle batteries to strengthen their strategic partnership and promote the popularization of electrified vehicles.” Honda has acquired ~1% of CATL shares through CATL’s non-public issuance of stocks. This makes Honda a leading strategic partner of CATL.

The companies said the agreement will enable them to begin discussions on a broad range of areas including joint development, stable supply, and the recycling and reuse of batteries. Honda is spreading the risk and costs and hedging its bets on battery electric vehicles, the development of which is threatened by the ongoing Covid crisis that has already cost automotive companies billions of dollars. A key byproduct of EVS is autonomous vehicles – which may not justify the investment required for a decade or more.

General Motors and Honda have agreed to jointly develop two all-new electric vehicles for Honda, based on GM’s highly global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. The exteriors and interiors of the new EVs will be exclusively designed by Honda, and the platform “will be engineered to support Honda’s driving character.” (GM Shows New Batteries and a Flexible Global EV Platform, Honda, GM Expand Cooperation for Next Gen Battery**)

AuotInformed Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on CATL and Honda AllianceCATL and Honda

By bringing together the two companies’ individual technology advantages, CATL and Honda will conduct joint development on NEVs batteries and joint R&D into fundamental technologies, aiming for their future application. CATL will provide stable supply of NEV batteries to Honda, mainly for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The first model equipped with a CATL battery is scheduled to be launched in the Chinese market in 2022. This alliance will be expanded to the global level in the future. Moreover, battery recycling and reuse also will be a topic in further discussions between CATL and Honda.

CATL is a technology company that wants to provide advanced battery for global new energy applications with businesses covering R&D, manufacturing and sales of battery systems for new energy vehicles and energy storage systems. Honda, of course, is a mobility company with motorcycles, automobiles, power products and aircraft businesses around the globe. Honda is currently accelerating its initiatives to electrify its products on a global basis.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, with businesses covering R&D, manufacturing and sales in battery systems for new energy vehicles and energy storage systems. In 2019, the company’s EV battery sales volume reached 40.25 GWh worldwide, and making it the world leader in annual EV battery consumption volume (source SNE Research). Headquartered in Ningde, China, CATL has more than 26,000 employees around the world as of 2019 and subsidiaries in Beijing, Liyang (Jiangsu Province), Xining (Qinghai Province) and Yibin (Sichuan Province), as well as in Munich (Germany), Paris (France), Yokohama (Japan), Detroit (USA) and Vancouver (Canada). In addition, the company owns and operates battery manufacturing facilities in Fujian, Jiangsu, Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, and in its European plant located in Erfurt, Germany, its first overseas plant that is currently under construction. In June 2018, the company went public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with stock code 300750.

**Honda-GM EV Agreement

As part of the agreement, Honda will incorporate GM’s OnStar safety and security services into the two EVs, integrating them with HondaLink. Additionally, Honda plans to make GM’s hands-free advanced driver-assist technology available. Production of the two Honda electric vehicles will combine the development expertise of both companies, and they will be manufactured at GM plants in North America. Sales are expected to begin in the 2024 model year in Honda’s United States and Canadian markets.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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