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CATL expands deal with Vinfast to provide skateboard chassis for EVs and ‘enhance global footprint’

Global battery giant CATL and Vietnamese EV automaker Vinfast announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to expand upon their current battery supply agreement. With this new “strategic cooperation,” the companies will explore CIIC skateboard platforms for EVs and “other areas” surrounding EV and battery technology.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, better known as CATL, is the current leader in EV battery manufacturing, not only in China where it is headquartered but around the entire globe. The company recently began expanding its production footprint to other continents like Europe and North America, while it continues to push the potential of battery cell chemistry forward.

This includes the production of its new M3P cells before they debut next year, and CATL’s third-generation of cell-to-pack (CTP) battery construction called “Qilin” – which promises a record-breaking volume utilization efficiency of 72% and an energy density of up to 255 Wh/kg.

As part of a previous deal, CATL provides its CTP batteries to Vinfast EVs, as the young Vietnamese automaker looks to carve out its own reputation in the global EV market. With first deliveries of its flagship VF 8 EVs underway, Vinfast looks to expand its relationship with CATL to develop, implement, and promote future battery technologies.

VinFast VF 8 EV
VinFast VF 8 / Source: VinFast

Vinfast looks to put future EVs on CATL’s skateboard platform

According to a press release by CATL, part of the signing of its MOU with Vinfast includes the intention to “explore various forms of cooperation on CIIC skateboard chassis on top of the current cooperation on CTP (cell-to-pack) battery supply between the two companies.”

Rather than integrate CATL’s CTP battery technology into existing Vinfast EV chassis, the CATL integrated intelligent chassis (CIIC) skateboard design positions the packs, electric motors, and other vital components into a single layer at the bottom of the EV.

This is a design method that’s quickly being adopted around the EV industry because it not only lowers energy consumption and maximizes interior space, but gives companies like Vinfast more design freedom thanks to a ground-up process that includes a completely flat canvas.

CATL founder and chairman Dr. Robin Zeng was alongside Vingroup and Vinfast EV chairman Pham Nhat Vuong, for the signing of the memorandum of understanding. In addition to building off their current CTP deal and exploration in CIIC skateboard chassis, the companies said they will work together to promote battery innovation and the world’s transition to electric mobility. Per the release:

By leveraging CATL’s cutting-edge batteries, VinFast’s innovative EVs will reach new heights in terms of range, safety, and intelligent driving. The cooperation will also enable CATL to enhance its global footprint, especially in emerging markets, and promote the application of new EV technologies. The elevated cooperation will enable both companies to promote innovation of battery technologies and global e-mobility, contributing to global drive for energy transition and carbon neutrality goals.

Vinfast’s first two EV models, the VF 8 and VF 9, are available to reserve now.

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