German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed this week the investment Chinese firm CATL will make to build Europe’s first electric car battery plant.
During a press conference held with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Merkel confirmed previous informations that stated that the factory will be built at Erfurt, in Thuringia, and its main goal is to supply the country’s key auto industry in its transformation toward electric cars.
According to AFP, Ningde-based CATL already supplies large Chinese car firms like Saic Motor and Geely and has just struck a deal with BMW. The luxury carmaker will buy 4 billion euros worth of batteries from the Chinese giant, with 1.5 billion euros worth of sales in Germany and 2.5 billion in China.
In terms of the supplies to build the batteries, BMW itself is buying cobalt under a 500 million euros investment program.
Volkswagen also has contracts with CATL and Mercedes-Benz maker, Daimler, is weighing a deal with the company as well.