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Chinese battery company takes 22% stake in Valmet Automotive; strategic partnership for EVs

China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL), a leading global provider of battery and energy storage solutions, has taken a 22% stake in Finland-based Valmet Automotive as part of a new strategic partnership in electric automotive solutions. Simultaneously CATL has subscribed to new shares issued by Valmet Automotive for a 22 % ownership in the company. After the new share issue, the owners of Valmet Automotive are Pontos (39%), Tesi (39%) and CATL (22%).

CATL is a private Chinese company developing, manufacturing and providing after-sales services of lithium-ion battery solutions for electric vehicles and energy storage markets. It is among the three leading electric vehicle battery providers globally and the clear market leader in China with a large portfolio of customers. CATL is seeking to expand its business in the fast evolving European electric vehicle market. At the end of 2016, CATL employed more than 10,000 employees worldwide.

The strategic partnership of Valmet Automotive and CATL will focus in particular on project management, drivetrain engineering and battery pack supply for electric and hybrid vehicles for European OEMs. The partnership also strengthens CATL’s position to enter the European electric vehicle market.

CATL brings new resources and capabilities for Valmet Automotive to invest into the development of its capabilities, offering, operations and competitiveness in Finland and Central Europe.

The strategic partnership enables both parties to complement their offerings in the expanding field of electric mobility. For realizing the great potential of this partnership, Valmet Automotive and CATL have jointly formed a common collaboration and development roadmap for electric vehicle operations, which we start to implement immediately.

—Ilpo Korhonen, CEO, Valmet Automotive

CATL currently offers NCM and LFP Li-ion chemistries in cells, modules and packs. The energy density of the NCM cell is >180 Wh/kg; with up to 130 Wh/kg for the LFP cell. Pack level densities are ≥115 Wh/kg and ≥95 Wh/kg, respectively.

Valmet Automotive is an engineering-driven provider of vehicle manufacturing, convertible roof systems and consulting services. The company specializes in premium cars, convertibles and electric vehicles, employing more than 2,500 professionals with locations in Finland, Germany and Poland. Valmet Automotive is one of the largest automotive contract manufacturers in the world. Established in 1968, it has produced cars for OEMs including Saab, Opel, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.


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Valmet was one of the few really good options for Apple or Google to buy and transform into a BEV car company. They seem to have blown that opportunity. The Chinese do it instead.

I am seeing the first real signs that VW has finally realized that BEVs are the future and the only future for the auto industry. Audi has told its dealerships in the US to get behind BEVs and not treating it like niche because Audi now believes that I quote “All this fright about where am I going to get a charge is going to go away extremely fast. The technology on this front is moving at a staggering pace. You’re going to be looking at a marketplace in the next seven, eight, nine, 10 years where for 30 or 40 some brands their entire business is going to be battery-electric vehicles.”

BEVs will soon become fully autonomous starting with Tesla’s BEVs. That will make Tesla the most affordable and most profitable Taxi service in the world. That in turn will force everybody who desire to be in business to focus all of their development resources on making driverless BEVs and that will transform the old auto industry. That and the bankruptcies of those who can’t keep up with the speed of this transition.

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