New collaboration between BITC and CATT takes initiative to develop batteries and battery components.

According to the press release of Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS,

With “BattLife”, the initial project of the newly founded Battery Innovation and Technology Center BITC at Erfurter Kreuz has been launched. Within the scope of the project, a digital test center for batteries and battery components will be established at BITC in the coming years. The industry partner of the project is Contemporary Amperex Technology Thuringia GmbH (CATT), a subsidiary of the Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL). It is the world market leader in the development of Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage and will set up its first European plant in Arnstadt which will create up to 2000 jobs in the future. CATT works closely with the researchers at BITC. The state of Thuringia will support the project with 5 million euros.

What is Battery Innovation and Technology Center BITC?

According to the media, Battery Innovation and Technology was set forth in the following way.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, Dresden, Germany, covers the field of advanced ceramics from basic preliminary research through the entire range of applications. Equipped laboratories and technical facilities covering 30,000 m2 of useable space have been set up for this purpose at the sites in Dresden and Hermsdorf. Based on comprehensive materials expertise in advanced ceramic materials, the institute’s development work covers the entire value creation chain, all the way to prototype production.

With a funding of 13.5 million euros from the Free State of Thuringia, the Battery Innovation and Technology Center (BITC) has begun its work on July 10th, 2020, in the industrial area Erfurter Kreuz, Arnstadt, Germany.

Who is Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL)?

Based on the company’s homepage, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited was established in 2011 and its headquarters is located in Ningde, Fujian, China. Its main business is Research & Development, production and sales of Electric Vehicles battery and energy storage battery systems. Its core technologies is almost same as main business: R&D and manufacturing capabilities of full industry value chains in vehicle and every storage batteries field. The company is publicly listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2018 and established its subsidiary, Contemporary Amperex Technology Thuringia GmbH, which was the first overseas production base in Germany.

Technological challenges in EVs

One of the big technological challenges of electric vehicles is the cost of batteries, which accounts for about one third of total cost. The problem of batteries is not only their cost but also several technological issues such as short lifetime, being flammable and explosive. Solid state batteries are one of possible solutions and could transform industries drastically. However, they are not ready for mass production and still the stage for Research and Development.

In order to transform battery industry, German new initiative is collaborating with battery supplier (CATL), which is the world’s third largest provider of EV, HEV and PHEV battery solutions behind Panasonic and BYD based on annual shipments. Therefore, technological innovation for battery industry could move on to the next stage thanks to the partnership between German research institute and Chinese battery giant