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CATL confirms entry into battery swap market ahead of a brand launch event in China

China’s leading battery manufacturer CATL recently shared news it is entering the market of battery swap technology for EVs, with a new brand called EVOGO, set to launch Tuesday. CATL has been teasing the new battery swap brand on its social media, ahead of the upcoming launch event in China.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, better known as CATL, is a global energy technology company and the leading EV battery manufacturer in China. Currently, the company supplies battery cells to major names in the EV world such as Tesla, NIO, Volkswagen, and now Fisker.

Last August, we shared news that CATL had raised 58.2 billion yuan ($9 billion) through private investments to accelerate its battery cell production capacity and support the automotive industry’s transition toward all-electric vehicles.

In addition to rapid expansion, CATL also has an extensive R&D presence to create the next generation of batteries to support EVs and other electronic devices, which includes technologies like sodium-ion batteries.

It now also seems that CATL has been researching the business potential of battery swap technology, a process of quickly replacing EV’s battery pack(s) rather than sitting at a charger. With its new brand, CATL could soon be rivaling Chinese automaker NIO, one of its current EV battery customers.

CATL battery swap
Three posts counting down CATL’s EVOGO launch event / Source: CATL/WeChat

CATL to launch battery swap brand called EVOGO late tonight

The battery technology company shared the news via its Weibo and WeChat accounts starting on Saturday, offering a countdown to the official event on Tuesday afternoon, Beijing time.

At this point, we don’t know much about CATL battery swap ambitions, other than confirmation that it is in fact venturing into its own manufacturing and implementation of swap stations.

The battery swap method remains a nascent form of EV battery technology, as most automakers have gravitated instead toward stationary rechargeable battery platforms. However, NIO – one of the most prominent, yet up and coming EV automakers in China – has fully embraced battery swap technology and currently has over 750 swap stations throughout the country as of December 30th, according to CnEVPost.

With an expansion into European markets like Norway and Germany, NIO has already begun sending battery swap stations overseas for future customers. While NIO has not entered the North American market (at least not yet), other EV startups like Ample have begun implementing the swap process for fleets and ride share companies in the US.

Circling back to battery swaps in China, it’s unclear at this point whether CATL plans to work alongside NIO, or rival it. CnEVPost again points out that when NIO launched its Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) business in 2020, CATL’s joint venture Mirattery helped manage the battery packs.

Given their business relationship surrounding EV cells and complete swappable packs, it would make sense for the two to collaborate to implement more battery swap stations throughout China and beyond, but that remains all but certain.

We are sure to learn more following CATL’s official EVOGO brand launch at 3:30 PM Beijing time tomorrow (11:30 PM PST tonight).

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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