CATL is no longer Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng’s primary battery cell supplier after the company diversified its supplier list, perhaps in an attempt to avoid potential shortages.
Xpeng president Brian Gu told reporters yesterday during an online interview that the company has focused on adding several battery makers to supplement the launch of the G9 SUV (via Reuters):
“We have already diversified our battery supplier arrangement. CATL is no longer our largest material supplier. We actually have worked with several high-quality battery suppliers, for example, EVE, CALB.”
Although Gu didn’t specify what the reason for the switch was, there are several possibilities. First is cell availability. Battery cells are still being produced in massive quantities, but battery makers cannot keep up with demand as the EV industry continues to grow. Various cell companies, including CATL, have announced large-scale manufacturing ventures in other countries worldwide to support the EV manufacturing boom. There is also a technical possibility.
Xpeng chose Sunwoda to supply battery cells for the G9 as they can provide an 80 percent state of charge in just 15 minutes. Fast-charging is becoming an exceptionally pertinent technique in wooing consumers to purchase an electric vehicle. Charging speeds and, more specifically, less time at EV chargers have become a point of emphasis for EV customers as the charging process is noticeably longer than filling a gas vehicle.
However, charging times have decreased over the past few years thanks to advances in EV battery technology and charging infrastructure. Introducing faster-charging piles, like the V3 Supercharger from Tesla or Electrify America’s 350 kW-capable chargers, are among the fastest available to consumers.
CATL is still the largest cell manufacturer on the planet, with the highest annual capacity and market share. It still owns nearly 50 percent of China’s overall battery needs through its agreements with various automakers. Tesla and Nio are CATL’s only clients that are larger than Xpeng.