Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) has signed two deals to expand its network for commercial vehicles across Europe.
The deal with VDL Bus & Coach in The Netherlands will see CATL provide its high-energy density battery system based on its standardized LFP CTP (cell to pack) platform. VDL Bus & Coach has been the market leader in the electric bus sector in Europe with a share of 22 per cent and is planning to launch a new version with CATL batteries later in the year.
A second deal sees Quantron in Germany as the authorized distributor and service partner of CATL for commercial vehicles and industrial applications in Europe. As an importer, Quantron is authorized as CATL’s dealer to supply batteries in Europe. With standardized CATL battery products, LFP CTP (cell to pack) packs and NMC modules for SMEs, even in low purchase volumes.
“CATL is committed to driving new energy innovations throughout the world. Providing highly efficient and reliable solutions to electrify commercial vehicles is an essential element for the overall e-mobility market development,” said Li Xiaoning, executive president of Overseas Commercial Vehicle Application. “CATL, VDL Bus & Coach and Quantron share the same dedication and passion for e-mobility. We are happy to work together with our partners to bring more values to our shared European customers.”
CATL’s LFP battery platfrom has thermal runaway stability up to 800°C for industrial and commercial vehicles, with a higher integration efficiency of 90 per cent and an energy density up to 160Wh/kg.
670 Citeas Electric busses from VDL are currently on the road in Europe, having travelled over 50 million electric kilometres.
“Over the past year, we have further expanded our position in e-mobility and also strengthened it geographically,” said Henk Coppens, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach. “Our next steps in terms of further development are the further optimisation of energy consumption and the application of the next generations of batteries. In addition to the many operations that use fast charging, we also see the market’s need for greater range, especially now that more and more regional operations are also being electrified. We are also very much looking at expanding our sales area to southern Europe.”
A centre in Belgium will use the CATL battery platform. “The factory we are going to build in Roeselare, Belgium, will make an important contribution to this. It will be our centre for e-mobility. This will enable us to respond even better to the needs and demands of the market. This is important, because the rapidly growing market for zero emission public transport buses will certainly retain enough potential, but competition will also become fiercer.”
“We continue to believe in one of our most important principles: that the manufacturing industry has a future in Western Europe; Western Europe has no future without manufacturing,” he said.
The High Energy batteries have a capacity of 315 kWh for the Citea LLE Electric, 350 kWh for the Citea SLF and SLE Electric, 420 kWh for the Citea SLFA Electric and 525 kWh for the Citea XLE Electric. The battery packs are lighter than other batteries and because of the larger battery capacity on board, the buses can run for longer periods of time between charges.
Beyond VDL Bus & Coach and Quantron AG, CATL works with Daimler Trucks & Buses and been a part of VWCO’s international alliance, e-Consortium.